Byelections set for June 5th

Tue, Apr 28, 2009, 01:00

The byelections for the Dublin South and Dublin Central constituencies will be held with the European and local elections on June 5th, it was revealed tonight.

The seats were left vacant following the deaths of Seamus Brennan last July and Tony Gregory in January.

Minister for the Enviroment John Gormley told the Dáil tonight that the writ for the two elections would be moved by the Taoiseach before May 14th as the date must be at least 18 days before polling day.

Fine Gael tonight tabled a motion calling for the writ to be moved for both byelections immediately but Mr Gormley said this would mean the polls would have to be held in late May.

“The taxpayer would be exposed to the extra expense and disruption involved in holding the byelections and the local and European elections on two separate days within such a short period of time,” he said.

Fine Gael claimed it had forced the Government’s hand by moving the writ.

“It is regrettable that it took action by Fine Gael for the Government to finally name the dates for these vital byelections,” party leader Enda Kenny said.

“The voters of Dublin South and Dublin Central who elected the last Seamus Brennan and Tony Gregory have been without their full compliment of TDs for far too long and it would have been nonsensical to refuse to hold the byelections in conjunction with the national elections.”

Independent TD Finian McGrath told the Dáil after tonight’s decision: “The family and supporters of the late Tony Gregory will be very satisfied by this outcome.”