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Local Election Campaign Heats Up as Nomination Deadline Passes; Fifteen Indian Candidates Contend for Seats in Ireland’s Local Elections

Dublin: With the deadline for submitting nomination papers for the upcoming local elections now closed, campaign activities are in full swing. The elections, set for June 7, have garnered significant attention due to the active participation of Indian candidates.

Five Indian candidates are running for seats on the Dublin City Council. Linquinstar Mathew is contesting in the Artane Constituency, Philjin Josumanavar in the Finglas (Cabra) Constituency, Supriya Singh in Donaghmede, and Punam Rane in Kimmage-Rathmines, all standing as Fine Gael candidates. Additionally, Lekha Menon Margassery is contesting as a Labour candidate in the South Central constituency of Cork City Council.

Other notable Indian candidates include Thomas Joseph (Labour) and Rupesh Kumar Panicker (Independent-Sandyford) for Blackrock in Dublin Dún Laoghaire County Council, and Reggie C. Jacob (Independent) for Dún Laoghaire. Shashank Chakraborty (Independent) is running in Blanchardstown, a Fingal County Council area with a significant Indian population.

In South Dublin, four Indian candidates are active. Roy Joseph Kunchilakkat (Independent) and Jithin Ram (Green Party) are both contesting from Lucan. Baby Perepadan and Brito Perepadan are running as Fine Gael candidates. Additionally, Jose Cyriac is contesting as an Independent from Navan in County Meath.

Record Female Participation

The Women for Election group reports a record number of female candidates running in this election, with a 15% increase compared to 2019. Political parties are legally required to ensure a 40:40 male-female representation in general elections to avoid losing 50% of state funding, though this rule does not apply to local elections.

Despite this, Fianna Fáil has faced criticism for its low female representation. Out of its 365 candidates, only 90 are women (25%). Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin defended the party, arguing that 25% is not excessively low. In contrast, Fine Gael has 97 women among its 339 candidates (28.6%), Labour has 41% female candidates, and Sinn Féin boasts 45% women among its 335 candidates.

Focus on Indian Immigrants

Despite having a large base of Indian supporters, Fianna Fáil has not reserved any seats specifically for Indian immigrants. Fine Gael leads in this regard, reserving five seats for Indians. The Labour and Green parties have each allocated two seats to Indian candidates, while the Independent (Independents for Change) party has reserved one seat.

Election Details

The local elections will be held on Friday, June 7. All residents of Ireland are eligible to vote, provided they are registered on the electoral roll at least 15 days before the election (by Monday, May 20). These elections occur every five years, with this cycle also featuring the first direct election of the Mayor of Limerick City.

To vote in local elections, residency in Ireland is required, though Irish citizenship is not. For European elections, voters must be Irish citizens or from an EU member state and register through the “Check the Register” website.

Voters can register on the electoral roll by visiting [Check the Register](https://checktheregister.ie/en-IE/) or, for Dublin residents, [Voter.ie](https://www.voter.ie). Registration can be confirmed using an Eircode and PPS number, and unregistered voters can complete and submit an application form online. Polling cards, containing the voter’s number and designated polling station, will be mailed before the election. Voting can only be done at the assigned polling station listed on the card, with any valid identification.

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