Congratulations to Senator Grace O’Sullivan on taking the fourth seat in the Euro South Constituency. The first Waterford-based MEP, everybody in the city and county, regardless of political persuasion, is pleased for her. Congratulations also to her hard working team and especially to her Waterford-based campaign manager, Jacqui Corcoran, with whom she started out on the long arduous journey all those months ago.Of course, all the attention now is on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar because with the election of four TDs to the European Parliament there will have to be by-elections in Dublin, Wexford and Cork probably in October or November.
Only former Tanaiste, Frances Fitzgerald, is a Fine Gael TD so, will the Taoiseach try to improve his numbers in the Dail through the by-elections or will he bite the bullet and go for a general election. We shall have to wait and see.Whenever a general election is called, it is likely to herald big changes in Waterford. While nothing is settled, there is much speculation that John Deasy of Fine Gael won’t stand again and Minister of State, John Halligan Ind, has yet to confirm whether or not he will run again. If both were to retire from the Dail, that would leave sitting TDs David Cullinane of Sinn Fein and Mary Butler of Fianna Fail fighting to retain their seats with two vacancies to be filled.
Former Minister of State, Paudie Coffey of Fine Gael, has already been selected to stand as has Councillor Eddie Mulligan of Fianna Fail and Councillor John Pratt of Labour. Things change very quickly in politics but, if the election were to take place next week, it would be a brave person that would predict the outcome.