- 23 May 19
The runners here include sitting Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and independent MEPs, but a young Green Party candidate, Saoirse McHugh, has been confidently – and impressively – upstaging the lot of them...
Saoirse McHugh was the big winner on the Prime Time debate on RTÉ this week. An impressively composed young candidate, who came across like a genuine breath of fresh air, she proved to be much more than a match for her elders on the night, in particular putting the former Presidential candidate Peter Casey’s concerns on the issue of immigration in context with the memorable line: "Millionaires blaming migrants is an old trope, and it's boring.”
Saoirse McHugh is from Achill Island in Mayo, and describes herself as an environmentalist, a democratic socialist – and a grower. It is a good word! A Green Party candidate, she is a scientist, who specialises in Sustainable Agriculture and has been on the committee of the Organic Growers of Ireland. This is all powerful experience, very relevant to what is now being recognised as the key issue of our time: climate change. For the unconvinced, her performance on the Prime Time debate confirmed that she will be able to handle herself extremely well in the European Parliament. Saoirse McHugh will be getting the Hot Press No.1.
THREE FOR YOUR PREFERENCES
A long-standing campaigner for gay rights, the former TD for Meath East, Dominic Hannigan (Labour) – who now lives in Galway – has shown himself to be a politician of real substance. He is strong on environmental issues. “More than ever before, we need MEPs representing Ireland now who are politically experienced, outward-looking, dynamic and courageous,” he sHays. We can’t disagree with that.
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan
Luke is a sitting MEP and looks certain to be elected again. He made his name as the cannabis candidate and it is on the issue of drugs that his politics are most recommended. He may not need your vote, but to have an experienced weed merchant sitting in parliament has to be a good thing...
Matt Carthy or Maria Walsh
It might be hard to find two more different candidates, but both have something to recommend them. Maria Walsh, who is gay, is one of the new, more liberal breed in Fine Gael. Carthy is a hard-nosed Sinn Fein politico. We’ll leave you to make up you mind between the two.
Avoid like the plague: Patrick Greene