‘Ming’ Flanagan considers run in European Parliament election

Independent TD to decide within two weeks if he will challenge for Midlands North-West seat

Deputy for Roscommon-South Leitrim Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan ran in the 1999 European election in the old Connacht-Ulster constituency. Photograph: The Irish TImes

Deputy for Roscommon-South Leitrim Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan ran in the 1999 European election in the old Connacht-Ulster constituency. Photograph: The Irish TImes

Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 13:03

Independent TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan is weighing up a run for the European Parliament and will make a final decision within the next fortnight.

There had been speculation in Leinster House in recent days that Mr Flanagan was ready to declare his candidacy.

However, the deputy for Roscommon-South Leitrim this morning told The Irish Times he has made “no decision yet”.

Mr Flanagan said he “will decide in the next two weeks” and confirmed he will contest the Midlands North-West constituency if he decides to run.

Midlands North-West spans three provinces and 12 counties, from the Dublin commuter belt to the west coast, and will elect four MEPS.

A number of candidates have already declared for the constituency, including Fianna Fáil’s Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher, Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, Fine Gael’s Jim Higgins and Mairead McGuinness and Labour’s Lorraine Higgins. Councillor Mark Deary is also standing for the Green Party in Midlands-Northwest.

Also contesting in Senator Ronan Mullen, and sitting Independent MEP Marian Harkin is looking to retain her seat.

Mr Flanagan ran in the 1999 European election in the old Connacht-Ulster constituency, polling 5,000 votes. The quota was 80,000.

He has previously hinted at running in this May’s contest, saying Europe is giving Ireland a “kicking” and someone needs to “stand up for us”.

If he were to run, his high-profile would place him among the serious contenders.