Solidarity running in Paul Murphy’s constituency ‘hard call to make’ - Boyd Barrett

Left wing group to run candidate in former member’s Dublin South-West constituency

Solidarity deciding to contest the constituency of its former TD Paul Murphy, who left to form a new party last year, was a "hard call to make" People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has said.

Mr Murphy was elected as a Solidarity-People Before Profit candidate in Dublin South-West in the last general election, taking the second of five seats.

Last September he left the grouping to set up a new party called Rise, although he remained part of the Sol-PBP Dáil speaking bloc.

Solidarity has decided to stand Sandra Fay in the upcoming general election in Dublin South-West.


Commenting on the decision, Mr Boyd Barrett said he would not see it as the left wing grouping standing a candidate “against” former member Mr Murphy.

"I do think Tallaght is a very left-wing constituency where there is plenty of room for left-wing candidates," Mr Boyd Barrett said on Monday.

“I don’t see that it’s going to impact significantly on particularly Paul Murphy … who I think would be favoured as the likely candidate to get in,” he said.

On whether the decision could split the radical left-wing vote, Mr Boyd Barrett said he expected there would be “an extremely strong transfer from one candidate to the other” if one was eliminated.

Mr Murphy said he expected to be "in a fight for the last seat" in the race and that also includes Minister for Children Katherine Zappone (Ind), John Lahart (FF), Colm Brophy (FG), Seán Crowe (SF), and Francis Noel Duffy (Green).

“It would be easier for us if Solidarity didn’t stand a candidate, to hold the seat,” Mr Murphy told The Irish Times.

‘Obituary of the left’

Mr Boyd Barrett said commentators have been too quick to write “the obituary of the left,” following poor results in the local elections last year.

“Our membership has grown very considerably both before and after the local elections, we are contesting more constituencies than I think we have ever contested before,” he said.

The election was being presented as “being about the choice between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael,” which Mr Boyd Barrett said was unrepresentative.

“Just under 50 per cent of people and rising at every election are choosing not to vote for Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael and clearly want a different type of future,” he said.

He was speaking at a demonstration in Dún Laoghaire at the site of a planned co-living housing development by Bartra Capital, where demolition works began on Monday.

There is currently a former school building on the Elbana Avenue site, which is located in the centre of the south Co Dublin town. The housing development will provide 208-units and have communal kitchen facilities.

“What is going here is an outrageous proposal for 21st-century tenements as we would see them,” Mr Boyd Barrett said.

He would be in favour of making controversial co-living housing illegal, where the accommodation provided was similar to “tenement” conditions, he said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times