Higgins and Kelly to be replaced in Europe


MEPs: LABOUR SENATOR Phil Prendergast and Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger are due to become Members of the European Parliament as an indirect consequence of the general election result.

Mr Prendergast is the next eligible member of the substitute list for Ireland South MEP Alan Kelly, who was elected to the Dáil as a Labour TD for Tipperary North. Mr Prendergast ran unsuccessfully for the Dáil in Tipperary South.

Each MEP supplies the names of five potential substitutes and the first on Mr Kelly’s list was Arthur Spring, who was elected to the Dáil for the Labour Party in Kerry North-Limerick West.

Ms Coppinger replaces her Socialist Party colleague Joe Higgins, who was elected an MEP in Dublin at the European elections in 2009 but has now been elected to the Dáil for Dublin West.

The first name on Mr Higgins’s list was Clare Daly but she, in turn, has been elected to the Dáil as a TD for Dublin North. Ms Coppinger is second on the list.

Ms Coppinger topped the poll for the Mulhuddart district in the 2009 local elections to Fingal County Council.

In Ireland, there are no byelections to the European parliament. If an MEP resigns or dies during his or her mandate, the vacancy is filled from a replacement list presented by parties or Independent candidates to the returning officer in their constituency prior to each European election. Since 2007, membership of the Dáil and the European Parliament can no longer be combined.