Ballot Capers: Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

Hugh Linehan takes a sideways look at the election

A canine candidate in Finglas, where Dogs Trust launched its election manifesto. Photograph: Fran Veale

A canine candidate in Finglas, where Dogs Trust launched its election manifesto. Photograph: Fran Veale

 

Traditionally, the dogs in the street have been seen as a threat rather than an opportunity by canvassers. Alan Shatter’s team arrive on every doorstep armed with bouncy balls to keep voters’ pooches from sinking their teeth into the candidate’s finely turned ankles. But now politicians may have to sit up and beg in response to this week’s announcement that Dogs Trust, Ireland’s largest dog welfare charity, has produced a manifesto outlining some of the ways they believe the welfare of dogs can be improved.

“With over 36 per cent of all Irish households owning a dog, we are hoping to inspire the public to share our vision to advance the standards of animal welfare by initiating conversations with their local candidates about their commitments to dog welfare,” says the trust’s executive director, Mark Beazley. With dogfights predicted for the last seat in so many constituencies, it’s only a matter of time before the cats get involved too.

The generation game

TV3Adrian Kavanagh

Of the seven groups represented last night, the Social Democrats had the highest percentage of candidates under 35 (35.7 per cent) and Labour the lowest (18.3 per cent).

The best small country

Ireland

However, as he drops it, Sinn Féin appears ready to pick it up. Yesterday, Cork was named as the best small city in Europe for its Foreign Direct Investment strategy by the Financial Times’s fDi magazine. Indeed, the magazine also ranked Cork as one of the overall top 10 small European cities for inward investment.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Chris O’Leary (SF, pictured) said: “We are delighted to be ranked the best small city in Europe for its foreign direct investment strategy. Investors considering Cork will be in good company.”

Hang out your brightest colours

Fine Gael Senator Maurice Cummins, the leader of the House, said he fully agreed with the proposal. Both were silent on whether the law would apply to pedestrians walking the streets of our towns and cities.

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