Over a dozen candidates declare so far for Sligo Leitrim

Over a dozen candidates are set to be peering back at voters when they enter the ballot box for the Sligo-Leitrim-North Roscommon South Donegal constituency next month.

There is a guarantee of at least one new TD being elected on February 8th in this contentious four seater.

Marian Harkin’s dramatic late addition to the ballot paper has thrown this large constituency wide open – with increasing pressure on the big two political parties to stave off the threat of the former TD and MEP.

The Sligo woman is one of a number of high profile Independents – in the field along with former Junior Minister John Perry who has left the ranks of Fine Gael for this election following controversy over the party’s handling of his eventual selection in 2016.

His former party, minus the services of outgoing TD Tony McLoughlin, are running Senator Frank Feighan, a native of Boyle, as well as Councillor Thomas Walsh.

Declan Bree is also running solo in the constituency as is Leitrim woman Bernie O’Hara.

Fianna Fail are running three candidates, including sitting TD’s Marc McSharry and Eamon Scanlon with newcomer Shane Ellis hoping to secure votes in Leitrim.

Sinn Fein will have a two-hander on the ballot paper- sitting TD Martin Kenny as well as Councillor Chris MacManus

Sligo mayor Gino O’Boyle is contesting for People before Profit and Labour is also running Nessa Cosgrove.

Candidates have until next week to confirm their intention to returning officers.