Social Democrats select Sarah Durcan as Dublin Bay South candidate

Lynn Boylan officially confirmed as Sinn Féin contender in upcoming byelection

 Sarah Durcan has been named the   Social Democrats candidate in the upcoming Dublin Bay South byelection. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sarah Durcan has been named the Social Democrats candidate in the upcoming Dublin Bay South byelection. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Social Democrats have selected former general election candidate Sarah Durcan to run in the Dublin Bay South byelection.

It comes as Sinn Féin confirmed that Senator and former MEP Lynn Boylan will be their candidate after nominations closed on Wednesday evening.

The byelection is required following the resignation of former Fine Gael minister Eoghan Murphy from politics.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has previously signalled that Fine Gael would prefer to have the byelection in July.

Ms Durcan said the byelection would be about housing and “the quality of all of our lives as we emerge from lockdown”.

She said: “This byelection is not only a referendum on this Government, but on a way of political thinking that has locked out and sold out a generation – lacking imagination, ambition and the ideals of who we truly are as a people.”

She claimed that: “Time and again they have put corporations and profits over communities, and shoddy short-term fixes over long-term benefits.”

She said the people of Dublin Bay South can send a “powerful message” that they “expect more from our politics”.

“That everyone has a right to an affordable home. That lengthy waiting lists for medical treatment are not acceptable. That nobody should be left behind.”

Ms Durcan was an organiser of the #WakingTheFeminists campaign to achieve gender equality in Irish theatre.

She got 1,801 first preference votes in last year’s general election.

Ms Durcan said that as an “activist arts worker” she is not “the typical kind of politician in Dublin Bay South pointing to a career of more than 20 years of working in culture, community development, non-profit start-ups and Science Gallery International.

Ms Durcan said it has “always has always been about making the improbable possible. I would like the opportunity to do that in politics”.

Ms Boylan meanwhile, was confirmed as Sinn Féin’s candidate after her name was the only one put forward before the nominations deadline.

In a video on social media she said: “We know this byelection is going to be a referendum on how the Government is handling housing and Sinn Féin not only have been holding the Government to account in their mismanaging of the housing crisis but we have also been putting forward credible solutions”.

She said her party would deliver affordable housing and protect renters “but if you want a Sinn Féin alternative you have to put more Sinn Féin TDs in the Dáil”.