Election Campaigns

Latest from the local and European trail and more

Genevieve Carbery Tue, May 20
LIVE: Election Campaigns

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  • 09:08

    More bad news for Labour in this morning's polls showing Coalition parties face significant losses in Friday's local elections.

    As Miriam Lord writes from the campaign trail with Labour's Emer Costello:
    And then, she uses perhaps not the best analogy: “I’m like a shovel-ready project. I’m ready to go back there and continue the work.”  There’s an awful lot of shovels at the ready in Dublin.
    And they’re pointing towards the junior partner in Government.

    Good morning, it's Genevieve Carbery on the live blog. We'll have the lighter side of the elections and anything else that tickles our fancy to cheer you up on this very rainy Tuesday. You can send me ideas or give me grief! on twitter @genevievecarber

  • 09:14

    Far more pressing than any a politician can fix is rain. A weather warning from Met Eireann on May 20th. What the fliuch.  

    Our lovely meterologists have issued a  rainfall warning for Munster, Connacht and Donegal, leading to local spot flooding .Totals of 25 to 40 mm possibly in places. Promise me sunshine and you've my vote forever.  

  • 09:15
  • 09:24
    A bit of rain hasn't stopped Brian Hayes from canvassing, or smiling just like in his posters.  
  • 09:38

    When Harry Met Eamon Ryan... and he took 40 winks....plus all the important stuff such as can the Greens come back from their annihilation in 2011...in this video from the campaign trail.

    “The Greens are on a bit of a comeback trail and that much has been evident over the past six months. But it’s modest and soft. It’s likely to result in the party making some gains in local elections but success might be judged by it creeping into double figures  It’s in the European arena, however, that the party might pull off something like a coup,”writes Harry McGee.

    (the little nap on the exhausting election trail is at 1 minute 16 seconds)  

  • 10:00
    They say every vote counts ...but not only was this the home of a former Labour minister this Fianna Fail local election candidate was canvassing - it was  Aras an Uachtarain. According to David Costello's blog, he rang the bell but was told Michael D Higgins wasn't in.  
  • 10:06
    Fashion crisis hits the campaign trail....the photo in Miram Lord's article has a story behind it... Miriam Lord...

    "Emer was canvassing on Grafton Street.  Joan Burton came along to lend support. She was wearing a casual brown leather jacket over her smart dress. Earlier in the day, at a Women for Emer Costello meeting at Buswell’s Hotel, Joan arrived wearing the exact same red jacket as the candidate.

    “I just ran into Marks yesterday and bought it,” she explained, mortified.

    In deference to the candiate, the Minister removed her new purchase. This meant that both she and Lorraine Mulligan, the party’s candidate in the Dublin West byelection, were dressed in black.

    Not a good sign in a campaign of ominous signs for Labour."

  • 10:19
    Good to see a smiling Stephanie Meehan on the campaign trail. The former Priory Hall resident came into the spotlight after her partner Fiachra Daly took his own life last July. She was out on the hustings to support by-election candidate and housing campaigner David Hall.  
  • 10:35
    If you thought yesterday's Longford funnel cloud looked ominous, how about this time lapse video of a super cell - looking something like an alien mothership. It was taken in Wyoming, US on Sunday evening.
  • 10:35
  • 10:48
    This has to be the best election photograph so far, as featured on page 6 of today's paper. Caption is brill: At swim, two candidates.  
  • 11:03

    The opening of a new bridge over the Liffey, especially one (finally) named after a woman, has to give you a little historic tingle thinking of all the new routes to work and conversations and chance meetings it will hold. The Rosie Hackett bridge will be officially named at 3pm today. #hellorosie......Handily it’s happening in the week of a local election vote....but never mind my cynicism.

    Here’s the facts:
    From 6am tomorrow it will cater for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and taxis. And eventually southbound Luas. It spans the Liffey between Marlborough St and Hawkins Street.
    It cost €13.5m to build.
    It is named after Rosie Hackett the trade union activist who was present at historic events at nearby Liberty Hall during the 1913 Lock Out and the Easter Rising. Get your Rosie Hackett Bridge booklet here  .  Read more here  .

  • 11:17
    The television debates really are key to Friday's result as numbers just in from RTE on last night's Ireland South Prime Time debate show - with almost 600,000 tunuing in. It's the dog-fight of the three-seater Dublin constituency tonight.
  • 11:22
    If you have a dog, you'll know they get you out for a walk, even when you don't feel like it. No more! As this video of a drone walking a dog on a pre-planned route shows. Cruel or clever?
  • 11:39
    Glad to see this election candidate taking the defacing of his posters well (the marker-wielding menaces could have done a lot worse!). By the way his tweet translates as "Is nothing sacred". And yes I did have to google that.  
  • 11:51
    Meanwhile in Britain’s elections, the UKIP faux pas just keep rolling on.  Here’s a leaflet they are giving out in Wales using a photo of British war graves to drum up anti-European sentiment.   Meanwhile Nigel Farage has been defending a homophobic candidate by saying it was ok to hold such views if you were over 70. He was also taken to task in an interview with Paxman about his comments on Romania and advert saying 7% of crimes are committed by Romanians. You can watch it here. Try not to throw things at your computer screen.
  • 11:51
  • 11:56
    Farage is a bulletproof fusion of novelty and familiarity. Among a crowd of guarded political automatons, he's Mr Novelty, poking his head through the window like a wacky neighbour in a sitcom, breaking the monotony with some side-splitting anti-Romanian slurs. The news can't get enough of him, because in TV terms he adds a bit of colour – ironic considering what he represents. The Guardian's Charlie Brooker hits the nail on the head.  
  • 12:30

    So will the proposed new protocol under which community welfare officers can  extend their discretion and raise rent caps in extreme cases work to fix the homeless crisis?  Or will problems continue as landlords select non-rent allowance tenants in favour of those in receipt of the benefit?  

    Sounds to me like a simple supply and demand problem. If there are more apartments and houses for rent then landlords will lower rents and accept social welfare, yes? But I'm no economist.  

  • 12:41

    Labour pains are imminent, you could says it's the elephant in the room. Not the junior coalition kind the zoo kind. Any mother will tell you that the sleep disturbed nights starts before the baby arrives. Dublin Zoo’s 22-months pregnant Yasmin gets just 3.5 hours of sleep a night. Footage has come in of the elephant pacing the floor in Dublin zoo, a sign of imminent labour. Watch it here.  

  • 12:53
    Adorkable and Felfie are my favourites so far in the Collins Dictionary twitter shout out to get words suggested by twitter users included. Adorkable (Adorable in a dorky way) and Felfie (a selfie taken by a farmer). Voters have until May 28th to have their say.  
  • 12:58
    The photo we've been wanting to see all morning - the €4.3m holiday home of former INM billionaire Sir Anthony O'Reilly - is here. It aint no Courttown mobile home either.
  • 12:58
  • 13:23
  • 13:24
  • 13:46
    Very lucky Donegal fisherman Paul Doherty is going to "take a day off anyway" after being rescued from Tullagh beach when his boat overturned, he told RTE Radio this afternoon. He described the struggle to get his waders  off, and how he had to take off his oilskins with a pen knife. He said he had tried to swim to shore but was tiring himself on too much. Contrary to what rescue servicies said yesterday he was not hanging onto a lobster buoy but to his life jacket, he said. Video of rescue  here.
  • 14:04

    Doesn’t Mary have a lovely frontal lobe...(Fr Ted, you can’t say that), no sorry they all have lovely frontal lobes. That’s the future of the Lovely Girls Competition if organisers of the Miss Personality Competition have their way.  
    Organisers say the person will be solely judged on personality wit and intelligence to show beauty is only skin deep. Their prize? A make-over by a celebrity stylist, a hair and make-up consultation and a place in the Miss Ireland beauty pageant final....during which they will have to wear swimwear for the closed door judging.....Ahem. Sisters  don’t put down the weapons in the battle for gender equality just yet.  

  • 14:26
    This parking faux pas was definitely much costlier than a clamp for Labour European candidate Lorraine Higgins. She said it was an "honest mistake" after her campaign van was photographed and tweeted parked in a disabled bay.  
  • 14:36
    "Do you have a problem with Angela Merkel? Is it true you called her an unf****ble larda**e?"   Jeremy Paxman asks Silvio Berlusconi in an interview to be aired on BBC tonight. The cliffhanger promo gives us no answer. Talk about going out with a bang Jeremy.
  • 14:36
  • 14:53
    Minister we have a crisis, they're talking about a tsunami of homelessness and there's an election in three days, what can we do to fix it or at least get the media off the case until the polls close.  I know let's set up a quango.  
  • 15:08

    "The opening of the Rosie Hackett Bridge today is a strong statement. It is a recognition that we for too long have forgotten our own history. For too long we have accepted a lopsided account of our past, and the Irishwomen who worked heroically with Irishmen to create a new future. Rosanna Hackett was just one of many women who played a crucial part in our history. But by honouring her, we honour all those who have been unjustly forgotten" - Leo Varadkar at the opening of the  Rosie Hackett bridge.  

    Cyclists aren't too happy though


  • 15:16
    There are little moustaches drawn on posters and then there's this - bringing election poster defacement to a whole other (more literal) level- and this guy is a real candidate beneath it.  
  • 15:29
  • 15:51
    Remember those stories about drinkable sunscreen. "If unscientific claims were an illegal substance, this product would be so illegal that anyone caught possessing it would be instantly shot. Into the sun." the Guardian's less than convinced.  
  • 16:00
    So the Miss Personality contest is getting a lot of potential entrants on Twitter -  
  • 16:04
    I like the sound of this. Clery's clock for a new era.  
  • 16:06
    BREAKING:    A man has been found guilty of setting a children’s makeshift den on fire causing the death of a boy over 13 years ago. Stephen Hughes was 12 years old in 2001 when he died in the fire in the den where he had been sleeping overnight. More shortly on Irishtimes.com
  • 16:15
    Here's one local election candidate making full use of a famous surname.  
  • 16:20
    It's good when candidates can admit their mistakes.  
  • 16:27
    If Morrissey joining (then denying he joined) Twitter wasn't enough trauma for us aging Smiths fans - Miley Cyrus covered/butchered There is a Light that Never Goes out at her Belfast gig last night. She plays Dublin tonight.  
  • 16:27
  • 16:41
    Juat in case your office is a cave - it's lashing out there as Met Eireann's rainfall warning stays in place till 9pm.  
  • 16:42
  • 16:49
    If the vast number of politician tweets from the Rosie Hackett bridge are anything to go by, it's surely been weight tested well today.  
  • 17:00

    So UKIP held a carnival in Croydon today - but the event turned into a farce after the steel band booked to play said they felt uncomfortable once they realised who was organising it, while protesters accused the party of being racists.  Farage decided not to show.  Now that's cheered my rainy day immensely.

  • 17:22

    It's safe to leave your offices now. The sun has come out in Dublin. And on that note I'm off! Thanks for reading.