Kildare will see key battles for seats in the general election

Senan Hogan


Senan Hogan


Kildare will see key battles for seats in the general election

The two Kildare constituencies will be key political battlegrounds for the major parties in the general election on Saturday, February 8.

The announcement of the voting day by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday ended months of speculation and saw the three-and-a-half week campaign officially start.

It will be the first general election taking place on a Saturday since the foundation of the State in 1922.

There are four seats in each of the Kildare North and Kildare South constituencies.

With the exception of the outgoing Ceann Comhairle Seán O Fearghaíl, all sitting TDs will be seeking re-election to the Dáil. 

Running in Kildare North are: Deputy Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael), Senator Anthony Lawlor (Fine Gael), Deputy Frank O’Rourke (Fianna Fail), Deputy James Lawless (Fianna Fail), Réada Cronin (Sinn Féin), Emmet Stagg (Labour Party), Deputy Catherine Murphy (Social Democrats), Cllr Vincent P Martin (Green Party), Séamus Ó’Riain (Renua).

Kildare South candidates declared so far are: Deputy Martin Heydon (Fine Gael), Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Suzanne Doyle (Fianna Fáil), Cllr Patricia Ryan (Sinn Féin), Cllr Mark Wall (Labour), Fiona McLoughlin Healy (Independent), Ronan Maher (Green Party), Linda Hayden (Social Democrats), Cathal Berry (Independent) and Sarah Walshe (Independent).

All the party leaders are expected to make at least one visit to Co Kildare during the campaign to go on walkabouts with candidates in local towns and villages. 

The Saturday date came as a surprise as many believed the Taoiseach would opt for Friday, February 7 or 14.