17 candidates to battle for four Midlands North-West European seats

The ballots are set for May’s European elections.

Almost 60 candidates are running for 13 seats in the European Parliament.

The deadline for nominations in the European elections closed at noon and we now know the runners and riders.

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Two Independent TDs were late additions – Clare Daly running in Dublin and Mick Wallace will contest in Ireland South.

It sets up a fierce battle in Dublin with two outgoing MEPs not contesting.

That leaves Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan fighting to keep her seat – alongside former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and former SDLP leader Mark Durkan for Fine Gael.

Former Ministers Barry Andrews and Alex White and Senator Alice Mary Higgins round out a strong leading pack with Clare Daly likely to command a strong vote.

There’s 23 candidates in Ireland South – including three defending MEPs, a Minister of State in Andrew Doyle and two TDs in Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher and Independent Mick Wallace.

Midlands North West sees a serious battle as well – with Mairead McGuinness, Luke Ming Flanagan and Matt Carthy defending their seats.

Fianna Fáil TDs Brendan Smith and Anne Rabbitte are contesting, with former rose of Tralee Maria Walsh on the Fine Gael ticket and Independent former Presidential hopeful Peter Casey also in the race.

Maria Walsh – Fine Gael

Mairead McGuinness – Fine Gael

Anne Rabbitte- Fianna Fáil

Brendan Smith – Fianna Fáil

Matt Carthy – Sinn Féin

Dominic Hannigan – Labour Party

Saoirse McHugh – Green Party

Cyril Brennan – Solidarity/People Before Profit

Michael O’Dowd – Renua Ireland

Patrick Greene – Direct Democracy Ireland

Dilip Mahapatra – Independent

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan – Independent

Peter Casey – Independent

Fidelma Healy Eames – Independent

Diarmuid Mulcahy – Independent

James Miller – Independent

Olive O’Connor – Independent