Sligo Leitrim Constituency

  • Sinn Féin is meeting smaller political parties today as efforts get underway to form a government.

    Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have taken a step back as left wing parties try to gather the numbers.

    The first government formation meetings are happening about now as Sinn Féin sit down with Solidarity People Before Profit and the Green Party with a view to forming a government.

    Both Labour and the Social Democrats also hold their first post-election Parliamentary Party meetings.

    It's expected Brendan Howlin will say his party should not go into government, while the Social Democrats are open to talking to everyone.

    Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil meanwhile have taken a step back as they take stock of their poor election results.

    It’s understood that the mood of the majority in Fine Gael is to go into opposition - but Fianna Fáil is said to be completely split on what to do, and whether it should / or should not work with Sinn Féin.

    Meanwhile, the 19 Independent deputies elected to the 33rd Dail are mostly rural based, and Sligo Leitrim  Independent deputy Marian Harkin is convinced that a grouping of rural independent TDs, focused on balanced regional development, could be influential in the negotiations to form a government.

    She told Midwest News today that, she has no red lines on who the grouping would talk to, and added that it is very early days in the negotiations and she is only now making the first tentative steps in talking to like-minded independent rural deputies.


  • The Fine Gael selection convention for the Sligo Leitrim constituency  takes place next month.

    Yesterday sitting deputy for the party Tony McLoughlin announced  that he is retiring from politics and will not be contesting the next election.

    The convention takes place on the 19th of July in the Clayton Hotel in Sligo at 8.30pm .

    Fine Gael at present holds one of the 4 seats in this constituency.

    Fine Gael Regional organiser Enda McGloin told Midwest News that nominations will close on Friday July 6th at 5pm. He says that a large crowd is expected at the convention with over 1,000 delegates entitled to vote.

    There are already a number of contenders for nomination in what is described as a marginal seat for the party, where a second seat was lost last time out by 400 votes.

    Former TD and Senator Gerry Reynolds, former Senator Michael Comiskey, Noel Merrick chair of the constituency executive of Fine Gael and former Minister John Perry all look set to seek a nomination.

    The number of candidates that will be chosen will be announced on the night of the convention.


  • Former junior minister,Sligo’s John Perry has warned Fine Gael it risks losing power at the general election if he is not on the party ticket in Sligo-Leitrim. 

    Mr Perry told today’s Irish Independent, that if Fine Gael is not serious about winning two seats [in Sligo-Leitrim] than it won't be in government."

    John Perry, who previously took a High Court action against Fine Gael over a dispute about him running in the general election, has not ruled out running as an independent if he is not added to the party ticket.

    He claims that private polling puts him in a strong position in the constituency.

    Mr Perry's declaration follows the surprise departure of former TD and senator Gerry Reynolds who quit the Fine Gael Dáil election ticket last week.

    Mr Reynolds stated that it would not be possible to continue to expand and protect his business interests and serve as a TD.

    Mr Perry faces competition from Senator Frank Feighan, the former Roscommon TD, who has also confirmed that he would be interested in contesting the next election in Sligo-Leitrim.

    Mr Feighan's home town of Boyle in north Roscommon was moved into the Sligo-Leitrim constituency in the most recent redrawing of boundaries.

    But Mr Perry argues that his political base in Ballymote in south Sligo means he is best placed to win votes for the party.

    Fine Gael has already selected Sligo councillor Sinead Maguire to run in the constituency, where sitting TD Tony McLoughlin is retiring at the next election.

    Other local figures who have expressed an interest in being on the ticket include councillors John McCartin, Ita Reynolds and Enda McGloin, as well as Noel Merrick, a former chairman of the constituency executive.

    Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran is expected to visit the constituency today to meet potential candidates.