For some time now, each candidate has been readying themselves for the starters orders. Selection conventions have been held for the parties and independents have completed their soul searching before deciding they want to compete to be elected in our new Tipperary Constituency.
While some of the candidates are household names, some too are seeking their first term in office. Over the coming days, we will be speaking to each of the candidates about their plans if elected.
As with the Grand National and all great races, we will list the runners and riders with their recent form and experience which may prove important in the 32nd Dáil. If you want to know more or get involved with our Election Coverage, email email@example.com
Siobhan Ambrose is a South Tipperary County Councillor since 2009. She is a highly active member of the Fianna Fáil Party, holding several positions within the organisation on the Ard Chomhairle, the Women’s Equality Forum and Ógra Fianna Fáil. A Clonmel-based member of Tipperary County Council, Ms Ambrose previously contested for the Dáil in 2007 when she failed to take a seat in the old Tipperary South constituency
Jackie Cahill is a Tipperary County Councillor. He was elected to the council in 2014. He is a dairy farmer and former Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association president. If elected, he intends placing a strong focus on the needs of Irish agriculture. Cahill is a first-time Dáil candidate.
Noel Coonan was first elected to the Dáil in 2007. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Tipperary in the 2002 general election. Prior to being elected as a TD, he served as a Senator from 2002 to 2007. A TD since 2007, Coonan is president of the Collins 22 Society, which promotes the memory and philosophy of Michael Collins.
A community worker based in North Tipperary, Mr Fitzgibbon is a first-time Dáil candidate. He is co-founder of Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative. Fitzgibbon’s priorities are energy, young people and better politics.
Tom Hayes was first elected to the Dáil in 1997. He served as Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety in the last government and was Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party from September 2002 to March 2010. He is a drystock farmer and avid GAA fan. A former senator, Tom Hayes was first elected to the Dáil in a 2001 by-election and has held his seat at each subsequent election.
Seamus Healy was first elected to the Dáil at a by-election in 2000. He held a seat between 2000 and 2007. However he lost his seat in the 2007 general election and served as a councillor for the Clonmel are of Tipperary. He was then re-elected in 2011 with 21.3% of first preference votes. An Independent candidate who contested under the umbrella of the United Left Alliance in 2011, he subsequently left this grouping.
Alan Kelly has served as a Labour TD since 2011. He has been Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and Deputy Leader of the Labour party since 2014. Prior to becoming a TD, he served as an MEP for South from 2009 to 2011.
Michael Lowry has been a TD for Tipperary North since 1987. He served as Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications between 1994 and 1996. In Novemeber 1996 he resigned his ministry in some controversy and Fine Gael banned him from standing for their party again. He has stood as an independent candidate since 1997 and has topped the poll in every election since.
Mattie McGrath was first elected to the Dáil in 2007. He was a member of Fianna Fáil until January 2011 when he left the party, claiming he “had run out of final straw”. He is now a member of the Dáil Technical Group.
Seamus Morris has been a local county councillor in the Nenagh area of Tipperary since 2014. He ran for election to the Dáil in both the 2007 and 2011 elections. In the 2011 general election he received 6.3% of first preference votes.
Marie Murphy is a councillor for Clonmel. She won the 8th of nine seats in the 2014 local elections, having won 6.77% of the first preference votes.
Michael Smith has been a Tipperary county councillor since 2004. He is the son of Michael Smith, who held a number of ministries including Environment, Education and Defence.