New MEPs – Phil Prendergast and Ruth Coppinger
I’m still feeling somewhat ecstatic about the election results nationally with the great result for Fine Gael, where we managed the vote well in many constituencies to get what looks like 77 seats, and from a psephological point of view, enjoying the results generally of the greatest electoral shift since 1918 or 1922. The count is continuing in my home constituency of Wicklow, so I won’t make any broad comments till later on.
After every general election now though, more people take up political offices than are elected to the Dáil, as there are co-options to replace those who were city, county or town councillors or MEPs. We know already the two new MEPs, taken from the lists published at the time of the June 2009 election.
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party, Dublin
Replacing Joe Higgins elected for Dublin West as part of the United Left Alliance is Ruth Coppinger. She was co-opted to Fingal County Council in 2003 to replace Joe Higgins when the dual mandate was ended and was elected in her own right in 2004 and 2009.
Phil Prendergast, Labour Party, Ireland South
Replacing Alan Kelly elected for Tipperary North is Phil Prendergast, who had unsuccessfully contested this general election for Tipperary South. Prendergast was first elected as a councillor in 1999 as part of the Workers’ and Unemployed Action Group led by Seamus Healy, which is now part of the United Left Alliance. She joined Labour in 2005 and was elected as a Senator on the Labour Panel in 2007.
Edit: Ruth Coppinger did not accept the position, so it fell to Paul Murphy to represent the Socialist Party as MEP for Dublin.