Double Euro boost for Roscommon

‘Ming’ first past the post, Mullooly also takes seat

According to the Central Statistics Office, as of the 2022 census, Roscommon was home to 70,259 people. While not having the lowest population of the 15 counties that make up the European Parliament constituency of Midlands-North-West, predicting that Roscommon would be home to not one but two MEPs following the election would have been a brave call.

  On June 7th gone, 679,946 constituents of Midlands-North-West took to the polls to cast their votes and elect five MEPs.

Incumbent MEP and poll-topper, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Castlerea) was home and dry from the first count. He polled 78,214 first preferences before being elected having reached the quota (113,325) on the 19th count, having gathered 118,754 votes.

First-time political candidate and former RTE correspondent, Ciaran Mullooly of Independent Ireland (a Longford native who is resident in Ballyleague) and backed by one-time ‘Ming’ ally Michael Fitzmaurice TD, was elected without reaching the quota on the 21st count with 88,177 votes, when all other candidates were eliminated and Flanagan’s surplus was redistributed.

The third MEP candidate in the race with Roscommon connections was former Irish Times columnist John Waters. Originally from Castlerea, Mr Waters secured 13,692 first preferences and was eliminated following the 11th count.

Between the 19th and the 21st and final count, five MEPs were elected, three without reaching the quota.

For the next five years, the MEPs for Midlands-North-West, in the order they were deemed elected are: Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Independent); Barry Cowen (Fianna Fáil); Maria Walsh (Fine Gael); Nina Carberry (Fine Gael); and Ciaran Mullooly (Independent Ireland).

Sinn Féin shock

The biggest upset was dealt to Sinn Féin. The party failed to retain MEP Chris MacManus’ seat and despite a 57% transfer of votes to his running mate Michelle Gildernew, she too failed to get elected.

Fine Gael double

No strangers to shocking the electorate in European elections, Fine Gael managed to retain two seats, including re-electing Maria Walsh MEP and getting first-time candidate and former jockey Nina Carberry over the line.

Fianna Fáil comeback

Having lost all representation in the European Parliament in the region in 2014, Fianna Fáil ran a risky three-candidate strategy but ultimately delivered a seat with Offaly TD Barry Cowen getting elected, bringing to an end (at least for now) the Cowen dynasty in Dáil Éireann but perhaps opening a new chapter for the dynastic political family in the European Parliament.