Hazel Chu enters the race for Dublin Bay South

Dublin Mayor will compete for right to be Green Party’s candidate

Lord Mayor Hazel Chu has confirmed she will bid to be the Green Party’s candidate in the upcoming Dublin Bay South by-election.

She said she does not plan to run as an Independent or for another party and will compete with councillor Claire Byrne to be on the ticket for the Greens.

Ms Chu defied party leader Eamon Ryan in running in the Seanad byelection as an Independent.

Her unsuccessful attempt to be elected to the Industrial and Commercial panel exposed divisions in the party as deputy leader Catherine Martin signed her nomination papers.


Ms Chu is seeking the chance to contest the Dáil seat in Mr Ryan’s constituency which was left vacant by the resignation of former Fine Gael minister Eoghan Murphy.

The Green Party chairwoman said: “I’m running for selection convention for the Greens. I don’t plan to run as an Independent or for any other party, and I hope to represent the local Green party in the upcoming by election.

“As someone who achieved 33 per cent of the vote in my constituency in the 2019 local elections and as current Lord Mayor of Dublin, I believe I can run a competitive campaign for the Dublin Bay South seat and for the party.

“I look forward to the selection convention and to the decision by my local group.”

She outlined her record as a councillor and Lord Mayor saying: “I have worked hard to support the local community and local businesses while working to fight the key issues we are facing as a country, homelessness and housing, discrimination and inequalities, climate change and ensuring a sustainable future.

“In my role I have created, and also been part of working groups to address these issues such as the Dublin City Council City Recovery Task Force, the National Night Time Economy and the Lord Mayor’s Homeless Task Force. Through each group, I have worked to ensure that the pressing issues are addressed as we come out of Covid.

“In the past year I’ve delivered on these issues and I would welcome the opportunity to tackle the various challenges on a national front.”

Her rival for the nomination, Ms Byrne, announced her plans to enter the contest at the weekend.

Ms Byrne was first elected to Dublin City Council in 2014 in the South East Inner City ward. She topped the poll there in the 2019 council elections with 28 per cent of first preferences, amid a wave of support for Green candidates.

Seen as close to the party leader, she also currently works in Leinster House as part of Mr Ryan’s parliamentary staff.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Ms Byrne said she did not think the election convention would be a “proxy war” between factions of the Green Party.

“Obviously we will have a selection convention to go through with myself and Hazel, and it will be up to the members to choose,” she said.

Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan has told members of his party on Saturday that he intends to seek a nomination to run as its candidate. There is speculation that former TD Kate O’Connell may also put her name in the hat.

Labour has chosen Senator Ivana Bacik to contest for the Dáil seat, with Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, and People Before Profit also expected to field candidates.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times