Kathleen Lynch to contest Cork North Central in next election

Former Minister of State faces a challenge in regaining seat she held from 2002 to 2016

Former Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch intends running for the Labour Party in Cork North Central in the next general election.

Ms Lynch told The Irish Times she hopes to regain the seat she lost to first time Solidarity/People Before Profit TD, Mick Barry in the 2016 General Election.

"Yes, I will be running again. I think the Labour Party has things to say - the results of the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment prove that we always have been courageous when it comes to difficult decisions for Ireland.

“We have always been to the fore and desperately trying to lead the people where we felt, after examining the evidence, we should be going and, in the next election and I think it will be sooner rather than later, I will be standing as a Labour Party candidate.”


Ms Lynch acknowledged that she faces a major challenge to regain a seat even allowing for the fact that sitting Fine Gael TD and former fellow Minister of State, Dara Murphy will not be running but she said she is looking forward to the contest.

“It will be extraordinarily difficult in Cork North Central next time out but then as I keep saying to people around me, I’ve never been involved in a n easy election. If I was, I think I would be more worried than if I was involved in a difficult one but it will very tough,” she said.

First elected to Cork City Council for the South Central Ward for the Workers Party in 1985, Ms Lynch was first elected a TD for Cork North Central in 1994 when, as a member of Democratic Left, she won the seat in a by-election caused by the death of Labour TD, Gerry O'Sullivan.

She lost the seat in 1997 when Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael took all five seats but she regained it in 2002 as a member of the Labour Party and held it right up to her defeat in 2016, retaining it in both 2007 and 2011 after Cork North Central lost a seat and became a four seater in 2007.

In 2016 Ms Lynch polled 3,723 first preferences or 7.28pc of the vote but it was insufficient and she lost out to Fine Gael's Dara Murphy for the last seat following the elections of Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher, Mick Barry running for the Anti-Austerity Alliance and Sinn Féin's Jonathan O'Brien.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times