For two days now, the Irish political press have been getting very excited about a meeting (and possibly a round of golf ) that Brian Cowen had with Seanie FitzPatrick… So far, well nothing more than that… Back at Drumcondra there’s a rather tetchy fight going on at the paper Cumann once owned and driven by one Patrick Bartholomew Ahern (soon to be ex) TD.
Ahern’s brother Maurice has been flatlining there for the last few outings, but it’s thought that if Bertie’d been running then Sinn Fein’s Vice President would be in the poor place. Now, Mary Lou McDonald must be in with a fighting chance to take one off Fianna Fail in a constituency where Ahern took the guts of two quotas on the first count last time out.
Currently, Labour’s Joe Costello looks set to top the poll, with Tony Gregory’s successor Maureen O’Sullivan looking good to secure his legacy. Fine Gael has Slugger irregular Paschal Donohoe standing for the third time, and as the only centre right candidate, he should be be in decent shape to exploit Fianna Fail’s fragmenting base.
What’s unquantifiable is: 1, the extent of the failure of the Fianna Fail vote/machine; and 2, the spoiling effects on Mary Lou’s vote on former Sinn Fein city councillor Christy Burke who took with him a chunk of the party’s machine there.
But for someone many commentators had assumed had exited southern politics for good, there is all to play for McDonald in Dublin Central.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty