Hazel Chu seeks to run in byelection in party leader’s constituency

Kate O’Connell is a likely candidate in Dublin Bay South after Eoghan Murphy’s resignation

Green Party councillor Hazel Chu and former Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell are among those expected to compete for the seat vacated by Eoghan Murphy. Photographs: Dara Mac Dónaill and Eric Luke

Green Party councillor Hazel Chu and former Fine Gael TD Kate O’Connell are among those expected to compete for the seat vacated by Eoghan Murphy. Photographs: Dara Mac Dónaill and Eric Luke

 

The Dublin Lord Mayor and Green Party chairwoman Hazel Chu is seeking to run for the forthcoming byelection in Dublin Bay South, The Irish Times understands.

Ms Chu is understood to have consulted with the party leadership on Tuesday and will put her name forward to compete for a seat in the same constituency where party leader Eamon Ryan is based.

A number of other names could also go before a selection convention including Green party councillor Claire Byrne.

The seat is being created the resignation of former minister Eoghan Murphy as a Fine Gael TD in the constituency.

The byelection, which must take place within six months, could shine an unwelcome light on existing issues in almost all the major parties.

In the Green Party, the controversy around Ms Chu’s decision to run for last week’s Seanad byelection has just died down. Her plans to run could reignite the existing divisions in the party.

In Fine Gael, the party would have had the ideal candidate in Kate O’Connell who lost her seat in last year’s general election, but it is not known whether O’Connell would want her name to go forward under the Fine Gael banner.

There is already speculation about Fine Gael councillor for Pembroke James Geoghegan who has been active locally.

In Fianna Fáil, a byelection could put a bit of pressure on Dublin Bay South TD Jim O’Callaghan who is viewed as a future potential leader.

Some within the party believe that there would be pressure on him to ensure a good vote for Fianna Fáil but the area is not considered a party heartland.

Two councillors whose names have been mentioned are Deirdre Conroy and Claire O’ Connor.

In Sinn Féin, the byelection could act as something of a barometer of the party’s ongoing rise in the polls.

The party already has Chris Andrews TD in Dublin Bay South. There was speculation on Tuesday morning that the party may look to someone such as Senator Lynn Boylan or perhaps a councillor.

Elsewhere, there will be speculation about Senator Michael McDowell who could run as an Independent and also around whether former Renua leader Lucinda Creighton could make a return to politics.

The Labour Party will also fancy its chances with well-known Senator Ivana Bacik set to run in the byelection. Former TD Kevin Humphreys got almost 8 per cent for the vote in the 2020 election.

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