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Immigrant Candidates Shine in Ireland’s Local Elections

Dublin: Migrant candidates achieved significant victories in Ireland’s recent local elections. This election marked a record success for immigrants, both in terms of victories and the number of contestants.

‘Record participation and success’

This year, 100 candidates from immigrant backgrounds contested the elections, with 18 elected as councillors. These individuals, who came to Ireland from countries such as India for work and other opportunities, secured positions in local governing bodies. Teresa Buczkowska, Political Participation Coordinator of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, noted that the number of successful candidates doubled compared to the last election in 2019, where only 56 candidates participated.

A noteworthy aspect of this election is that all the elected candidates ran as party candidates. According to the Immigrant Council of Ireland, immigrants have a higher chance of being elected when they run under a party banner. This trend was evident in the 2019 election, where more than half of the migrant candidates ran as independents, but by 2024, their number had decreased to one-third.

Candidates such as Feljin Jose (Green Party), Baby Pereppadan, Poonam Rane, Supriya Singh, Brito Pereppadan (Fine Gael), and Thomas Joseph (Labour Party) secured victories with the support of political parties. There is even speculation that an Indian might be elected as Mayor of the 60-member Dublin City Council this term, with Poonam Rane, Supriya Singh, and Feljin Jose elected to the city council.

Increase in Female Candidates

The number of women among migrant candidates also saw an increase, with 55% of the candidates being women, compared to 45% in 2019. This election also saw a significant number of candidates from South America and Africa who received considerable support from the Irish electorate.

Notable Winners

The Green Party fielded 16 candidates from immigrant backgrounds, including Honour Camagne, the first black person elected to Cork City Council. Camagne, originally from Cameroon, has been a postman for the past 16 years and is now serving his third term as a councillor.

Three of the 11 migrant candidates from the Labour Party won seats, with newcomers Helen Ogbu of Galway City East and Thomas Joseph of Dun Laoghaire among them. Elena Secas, representing Limerick City East, celebrated her third consecutive win.

Fianna Fáil also fielded 11 immigrant candidates, while People Before Profit-Solidarity and the Social Democrats had four and three candidates, respectively.

The success of immigrant candidates in this election highlights the growing diversity and inclusivity in Ireland’s political landscape.

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