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Dublin Bay South byelection is set for July 8th

DUBLIN: Dublin Bay South prepares for byelection in Ireland. The election is significant for three reasons: the constituency is dominated by tenants, a serious housing crisis persists, and the constituency includes many Indian voters. The by-election will be held on July 8th, with 12 candidates running.

The election campaigning is already well underway. Dublin Bay South is regarded as a Fine Gael stronghold and one of the country’s most liberal constituencies.

TDs, including Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, are currently representing the constituency. Chris Andrews of Sinn Fin and Jim O’Callaghan of Fianna Fáil are also currently representing the constituency. The election is being held to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of TD Eoghan Murphy of Fine Gael.

The constituency, which extends from Terenure to Sandymount, includes Rathgar, Rathmines, Donnybrook, Ringsend, St. Vincent’s Hospital Area, and the South East Inner City.


The candidates are James Geoghegan for Fine Gael, Deirdre Conroy for Fianna Fáil, Claire Byrne for the Green Party, Lynn Boylan for Sinn Féin, Ivana Bacik for Labour, Sarah Durcan for the Social Democrats, Brigid Purcell for PBP/Solidarity, Mairéad Tóibín for Aontu, Justin Barrett for the National Party, Jacqui Gilbourne for Renua and independents Peter Dooley and Mannix Flynn.

Housing crisis is the main campaign weapon

Sinn Féin says the election will be about home ownership and rent. The campaign is also centered on housing. The proportion of flats and apartments in Dublin Bay South is higher, but the proportion of houses and bungalows is low. About 44.3 per cent of the residents live in rented houses. The majority of renters live in Portobello, Ranelagh, Rathmines, and Ballsbridge.

Affordable-social housing schemes are likely to become a dominant campaign issue in view of the high rents and rising cost of living. Concerns regarding bus and bicycle lanes, as well as the long-promised metro project, are also a local issue.

Diverse constituency

Dublin Bay South is one of the most diverse constituencies in the country with non-Irish nationals. According to the 2016 census, 75% of the population of the constituency is Irish, which is lower than the national average (87%).

Other nationalities represented slightly more than 20% of the constituency, including the British (2.2%), Polish (1.1%), Lithuanians (0.3%), people from another EU country (8.1%), and people from the rest of the world (8.6%).

There is a large presence of Indians in this constituency, with many working in hospitals including St. Vincent’s and IT companies including Wipro and Google. The Indian Embassy is also included in this constituency.

Social housing is currently concentrated in the inner city areas of the constituency. There are plans to build 3,500 houses on the former glass bottle site in Ringsend, 500 of which will be affordable.

In the last election, the Green Party candidate got the highest number of votes here. If things go differently this time, Sinn Féin, who finished second last time, is likely to stage a coup. Considering the current situation, Fine Gael is unlikely to retain its current seat. The results will be announced on July 9, the day after the election.

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