Updated: 11/02/16 : 10:08:18
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Election 2016

From the Count Centre at The Clarion Hotel;

Four Sligo/Leitrim TDs elected in GE16

Photos, Reports, Tallies, Counts


Public anger at water charges remains unabated

The huge turnout at last Saturday's demonstration, on the final weekend before the General Election, sends a clear message to the outgoing Government that public anger at water charges remains unabated. Cllr Declan Bree, told SligoToday

"Water charges have been the tipping point for many people - but they are just one manifestation of the austerity policies pursued by the outgoing Government and the previous Fianna Fáil/Green coalition.

>>> Read full report here


RENUA to create Disability Ombudsman

RENUA Ireland Sligo Leitrim candidate Finbarr Filan said today that the next government has a unique opportunity to make rights for the disabled a reality.

But, he said, ''This can only be achieved by ensuring people with disabilities have their rights vindicated in a manner similar to the role played by the Ombudsman for Children.

RENUA Ireland is proposing the following measures to enhance inclusion and to vindicate the constitutional rights of disabled citizens. >>> Read full report here


If people want change they must vote for change - Bree

“If people want change they must vote for change.   Five years ago people voted for change but unfortunately they got more of the same.  If people are serious about change on this occasion, it is vitally important that they examine the policies and more so the record of those who are asking for their vote.”  Independent candidate Cllr Declan Bree said this week.
“Many people want to vote for independents however the reality is that numerous independents will have no difficulty propping up the very same politicians who are implementing austerity.

>>>Read full report here


Prolife Campaign Sligo urge voters to Vote Pro Life

The Prolife campaign Sligo calls on the Sligo people to vote for pro life candidates. 'We are particularly disappointed with Tony McLaughlin TD and John Perry TD who recently stated publicly that they would oppose repealing the 8th amendment, however their track record speaks differently.  They both are on record as voting for abortion in 2013.  

'We ask people to vote for the local candidates which best protects the right to life of the unborn. Our website www.prolifecampaign.ie gives a guide to the pro-life candidates in our constituency.'


Video Interviews with GE16 local candidates

Presented by Ciarán McCarthy
Managing Editor / Sligo Today

Admin: Eleanor McCarthy
Sound: Oliver Mullins
Stills: Charles McCarthy

Produced and Directed by Rory O'Brien


Episode 5 in a series of 5 from Sligo Today

Interview with Nigel Gallagher (PBP), Finbarr Filan (Renua), Cllr Marie Casserly (Ind)

Nigel Gallagher - Finbar Filan - Marie Casserly from Rory O'Brien on Vimeo.


Episode 4 in a series of 5 from Sligo Today

Interview with Senator Susan O'Keeffe (Lab), Des Guckian (Ind), Cllr Martin Kenny (SF)

O'Keeffe - Kenny - Guckian. from Rory O'Brien on Vimeo.


Episode 3 in a series of 5 from Sligo Today

Interview with Tony McLoughlin TD (FG) and Bernard Sweeney (Ind)

Sweeney - McLoughlin from Rory O'Brien on Vimeo.


Episode 2 in a series of 5 from Sligo Today

Interview with Bernie O'Hara (Ind), Leslie O'Hora (Green), Chris MacManus (SF)

O'Hara - O'Hora - McManus from Rory O'Brien on Vimeo.


Episode 1 in a series of 5 from Sligo Today

Interview with John Perry TD (FG), Cllr Declan Bree (Ind Soc) and Senator Marc Mac Sharry (FF)

Perry - Bree - MacSharry from Rory O'Brien on Vimeo.

The Sligo Today Election 2016 film crew. (l-r) Rory O'Brien, (Producer/Director), Charles McCarthy (Stills), Ciarán McCarthy (Editor/Presenter), Eleanor McCarthy (Admin) Oliver Mullins (Sound)


Lift children out of poverty trap - Filan

RENUA Ireland Sligo Leitrim Candidate Finbarr Filan   has warned that we have to end the scenario where over two hundred thousand children live in households experiencing generational poverty.

He said, ''Difficult childhood experiences have serious ongoing consequences. It can lead to lifelong and generational social exclusion where abusive patterns are repeated.

Each year, billions of Euros are spent on welfare, yet social exclusion is rising.

It's time to stop this waste of human potential. >>> Read full report here


Sinn Féin to protect family homes from repossession

General Election Candidate Cllr Martin Kenny said today that Sinn Fein will protect family homes from repossession and empower the Central Bank to set caps on interest rates chargeable by banks.

Cllr Kenny said,  “FF, FG and Lab governments have failed the Irish people by allowing evections to take place up and down the country on a daily basis.  According to the latest figures from the central bank for the third quarter of 2015,  92,291 family homes are in arrears and four families a day are loosing their homes.  >>> Read full report here


RENUA to protect farmers with price volatility fund

Finbarr Filan RENUA Ireland candidate in the Sligo Leitrim West Cavan South Donegal stated that RENUA Ireland plans to cushion farmers against the impact of booms followed by busts in areas of the agriculture industry by creating a price volatility fund.

An ongoing challenge facing all producers in the agricultural sector is the serious volatility in commodity prices.

It is a significant financial burden and greatly hinders long term planning.

Mr Filan Commented that at present, this is very evident in the dairy sector, where the welcome end to the quota regime and the resulting increase in milk production has to some extent been offset by ongoing downward trend in milk prices.

>>> Read full report here

Hospital Group review raises serious concern in Sligo

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry says he has grave concerns about the future of services at the Emergency Department at Sligo University Hospital (SUH) following news that the Saolta Hospital Group has begun a review of ED services across the North West.

The group manages seven hospitals in the West and North West including Letterkenny University Hospital, Sligo University Hospital, Mayo University Hospital and University Hospital Galway.

>>> Read full report here


Sligo Dail hopefuls kick off radio debate on screen
By Eugene McGloin - Political Editor / Sligo Today

Two items emerged from the first Sligo constituency debate hosted by Ocean FM last night, Tuesday.

First, the four main parties in this contest again sounded jaded and so predictable.

Secondly, there is a fair bit of public anger still out there. Will it vote in Sligo, and how so?

Dissatisfaction refuses to go away and the Red C poll in this morning's ''Irish Sun'' shows a further two percent drop for Fine Gael.

That's four points dropped by the main Government party in polls by the same company since the official campaign kicked off.

>>> Read full report here


Daggers and promises at the Love Leitrim hustings
By Dervilla Keegan

The daggers were out at the Love Leitrim debate chaired by Johnny Gogan in the Bee Park Manorhamilton Saturday Feb 13th. 13 candidates turned up and the crowd saw allegations and counter allegations in what at times was like a competition on who was the best antifracking candidate in the room.

Councillor Gerry Reynolds, who voted against a ban on fracking in Leitrim County Council notably did not put his hat in the ring, as he did not even attend the meeting.

The stakes were raised when candidates were asked would they resign if fracking came in and Government TD Tony Mcloughlin maybe feeling like he had to make up ground from Kenny said if fracking came in it would be ‘over his dead body”

>>> Read full report here

Fianna Fáil will strengthen the Credit Union Sector – Mac Sharry

Senator Marc Mac Sharry has received a commitment from his party that it will supportand strengthen the credit union sector if elected.

“Credit Unions have a proud tradition in communities throughout the country. They have expert local knowledge and strong personal relationships and this allows them to make sound judgements about lending to individual customers, small businesses, the self-employed and farmers here in the North West. Under this Government, bank branches have been closing and in-branch services have been restricted, disproportionately affecting vulnerable customers such as the elderly. This is why Fianna Fáil believes credit unions provide important competition and choice to consumers”, explained Senator Mac Sharry.

>>> Read full report here


Perry turns sod on new running track for Enniscrone

Deputy John Perry has turned the sod on new running track for Enniscrone.

He said he was "delighted to work with the committee to deliver €40,000 to Enniscrone and District Community Development under the Sports Capital Programme 2015. Work will commence at the facility in near future.

"This is the third round of Sports Capital funding that has been made available under this Government, following years of neglect in this area by the previous administration. This further reinforces the positive impact that sport has on communities from a physical and a social perspective.

>>> Read full report here

Meeting disrupted before questions could be asked

Twelve candidates attended a hustings event in Manorhamilton on Saturday 13th organised by Love Leitrim. 

All twelve from different parties and independents signed the pledge that they would support legislation to ban fracking in Ireland and confirmed that commitment at the meeting. 

This support included Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, Labour, Greens, People Before Profit and Independents. 

>>> Read full report here


Small parties, indos won election debate on RTÉ

By Eugene McGloin / Political Editor/ Sligo Today

The verdict came to mind all through the first of RTE's election debate last night, Monday.

The debate was won, and clearly so, by the group stuck under the smaller umbrella of ''Independents & Others.''

Lucinda Creighton of Renua was the most clear-headed of all these and held her ground well throughout.

She was well matched by Richard Boyd Barrett and Stephen Donnelly of the Social Democrats.

>>> Read full report here


Meeting disrupted before questions could be asked

Twelve candidates attended a hustings event in Manorhamilton on Saturday 13th organised by Love Leitrim. 

Before this subject could be introduced, the meeting was completely disrupted by a small group who refused to allow the discussion to continue.  The Chairman, Johnny Gogan, had to close the meeting prematurely and it ended in disarray.

“I am very upset that a small number of protesters seem to consider public meetings to be an opportunity for anarchic disturbances for their own sake”, said Dr Aedín McLoughlin Director of GEAI.

>>> Read full report here


Time for action not more reports - Filan

Finbarr Filan RENUA Ireland candidate in the Sligo Leitrim West Cavan South Donegal stated there have been ample reports on the problems in the health sector in Ireland.

What is needed now is practical action and tough decisions to deal with problems and implement solutions which are known and have been known for a very long time.
The main failure, as noted in the section on Public Sector reform, is Ireland’s inability to respond to crises.

But whilst the health sector is not perfect it is hugely resilient hand has shown an appetite and capacity for reform under progressive leadership. 

>>> Read full report here


Mammography contract to be signed next week

Delighted that following my confirmation that the tender for follow-up Mammography Services at Sligo University Hospital had been awarded, it was confirmed by the Minister for Health on his visit to Sligo that the contract will be signed next week, says John Perry TD.

The satellite follow-up service will provide a safe, quality and evidenced based service to women in the Sligo, Leitrim and South Donegal area.

This is something I have fought tooth and nail for since 2011 and that this was a red-line issue for me.

>>> Read full report here


Fine Gael plan to make students pay off college fee debt

Irish third-level education is facing a major funding crisis. Public funding has been cut extensively since the beginning of the economic crisis, while the student body is expected to have grown by approximately 30% by 2028.

Nigel Gallagher, People Before Profit candidate for Sligo / Leitrim / South Donegal / West Cavan says: “It has been the policy of the government to shift the cost of third-level education on to students themselves. Ruairi Quinn’s infamous pledge not to increase the student contribution was quickly scuttled after the formation of the coalition government in 2011. The registration charge has been gradually raised to €3000 a year.

>>> Read full report here


Follow-up Sligo mammography service contract expected shortly

Fine Gael TD for Sligo/Leitrim, Tony McLoughlin, has said that the HSE has briefed him on the progress of the tender process for a follow up mammography service in Sligo and that he is pleased to advise that the discussions with the proposed supplier of the service have gone well, and that the tender process is expected to conclude shortly.

“Of course nothing is absolutely certain until the contract is signed, but the HSE has told me that these advanced discussions will conclude successfully next week.

This obviously will be an excellent development for the women of Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and the North West region in general.

>>> Read full report here


Varadkar, poster boy still falls short in Sligo
By Eugene McGloin, Political Editor, Sligo Today

Sligo will remember Leo Varadkar's as Minister for Health long after the dust has settled on his career.

It will not be for anything he did; in his half term as Minister in Health he hasnt done anything of note for Sligo.

Varadkar may be already a poster boy, The Pretender, in some sections of Fine Gael but that home-turf homage is undeserving of wider audience.

The Minister, like so many others, is hopelessly lost in ''Angola,'' as Brian Cowen christened the job from Hell.  >>> Read full report here


A State that cannot house its people is not working

When it comes to the bad politics of boom and bust greater damage has been done in housing than anywhere else, says Sligo's RENUA  candidate Finbarr Filan.

 In Sligo there are currently over 1200 people on the housing list. Over the next 3 years the Sligo County council are tasked to provide 301 social housing units of which current funding only provides for 28 new builds. The rest will be provided by refits of existing stock and attempting to lease units on the ever shrinking private market

>>> Read full report here


Ensuring no child in Sligo is left behind

Fine Gael candidate Gerry Reynolds, has welcomed the party’s plan to provide better services for children and make childcare more affordable for parents.

“Since going into Government in 2011, Fine Gael has prioritised children and their welfare. We established a new Child and Family Agency, and introduced child protection legislation, free GP care for under 6s in Sligo and a second free pre-school year. 

>>> Read full report here

Sligo hoteliers call for decisive action to support tourism

Hoteliers in Sligo have today called on local candidates in the general election to commit to decisive action in support of continued recovery in Irish tourism. Brian Pierson, Chair of the Sligo Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said that, while tourism has made significant progress in recent years, continued growth cannot be taken for granted.

>>>Read full report here


Minister to launch Caredoc GP Out-of-Hours today

Health Minister Leo Varadkar will officially Launch the new Caredoc GP Out-of-Hours service in Sligo today, Friday, at 2pm in Markievicz House, Barrack Street.


General Election ‘Tallies’ with IT Sligo online expertise

An award-winning online tally system, devised by staff from IT Sligo, will be used for the first time in a General Election count when the country goes to the polls later this month.

Media outlets and the general public will be able to access the tallies for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency online and in real time when counting begins on Saturday 27th at The Clarion Hotel.

>>>Read the full report here

Kenny won first leaders debate, he listened

That's according to Sligo Today's Political Editor Eugene McGloin.

ENDA KENNY won the leaders debate on TV3 and Newstalk last night, Wednesday.

He listened. That was his match-winner on a night when all the others shouted, interrupted, coughed, heckled, argued.

That must be why his colleagues say he runs a good Cabinet; he listens.

>>>Read the full report here


Leaders Live Debate tonight Thurs 11 Ferbruary - 9pm

Pat Kenny and Collette Fitzpatrick pictured  are to the host first leader's live debate tonight at 9pm on TV3 and Newstalk.

An Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael Enda Kenny TD, Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party Joan Burton TD, leader of Fianna Fáil Micheál MartinTD, and leader of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams TD have all confirmed their attendance in this special four-way leaders’ debate.


Biggest Constituency

The new Sligo-Leitrim constituency is one of the biggest in the country and also takes in parts of south Donegal and 36 electoral divisions in west Cavan.

Four seats are now up for grabs in this area, with 18 candidates already declared.

Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have chosen a three candidate strategy for this year’s vote.

Two candidates were chosen by Fine Gael members at its selection convention last year, sitting TD Tony McLoughlin and former TD, Senator and Councillor Gerry Reynolds.

Sitting TD and former Junior Minister John Perry was added by the party before Christmas.

Fianna Fail is also running three candidates, Senator Marc MacSharry, Councillor Eamon Scanlon and Councillor Paddy O’Rourke was added by the party last week.

Sinn Féin is running two candidates, former Sligo Councillor Chris McManus and Leitrim Councillor Martin Kenny.

Sitting Senator Susan O’Keeffe has been selected to run for the Labour Party in the constituency.

 Renua is running Finbarr Filan from Sligo, People Before Profit/Anti-Austerity Alliance are running Nigel Gallagher from Sligo and the Green Party is running Leslie O’Hora from Carrick-on-Shannon.

Six independent candidates are also running.

 Sligo Councillor Marie Casserly is running under the banner of the Independent Alliance.

Former Labour TD and Sligo County Cllr Declan Bree is standing as an Independent.

Bernie O’Hara from Dromahair, Bernard Sweeney from Sligo, Leitrim Councillor Des Guckian, and Eamon Murray are also running as independent candidates.