First Clare MEP In 30 Years Insists Local Issues Will Be Fought In Brussels

Photo © Conor McCabe Photography

Clare’s first MEP in 30 years insists fighting for health, farmers rights, offshore energy development and robust data-protection laws will be his top priorities when he takes his seat in Brussels.

Having been an unsuccessful candidate in the Ireland West Constituency in 2009, Scariff Independent TD Michael McNamara took the third seat in Ireland South last night, after amassing over 92,800 votes on the twentieth count.

The last MEP from Clare was the late Paddy Lane who was elected to the European Parliament in 1989 and served until June 1994, in what was the then Munster constituency.

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Before Mr Lane, the late Defence and Environment Minister Sylvester Barrett served as an MEP between June 1984 and June 1989, also in the Munster Constituency.

Although a by-election will be required within six months to fill Deputy McNamara’s Dáil seat, the Scariff man expects the Government will call a general election for October instead.

The first sitting of the new EU Parliament will be July 17th and the Clare TD’s next step will be to join a party grouping.

MEP Elect Michael McNamara says he will continue to bring local issues to the fore on the European stage.

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Overnight, the final seats were also decided in Midlands North West – earlier, while Dublin’s four MEP seats were wrapped up on Wednesday.

Overall, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael ended up with four MEPs, Sinn Féin has two, there are two independents, and one each for Labour and Independent Ireland.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin believes voters were put off by the violence and intimidation associated with some protests against migration.