Social Democrats name five general election hopefuls

Catherine Murphy, one of the chief advisers for Social Democrats

One of the chief advisers for Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy, who played a key role in highlighting the sale of Siteserv to a firm linked to businessman Denis O’Brien, is set to run in the general election.

Ann Marie McNally has been put forward in the Dublin Mid-West constituency by the newly formed party as part of what the opposition group said is the first of a number of batches of candidates to be revealed over the coming weeks.

Ann Marie McNally

Speaking at the launch of the campaigns, the party said Ms McNally (Dublin Mid West), James Heffernan (Limerick County), Gary Gannon’s (Dublin Central), Niall Ó Tuathail (Galway West), and academic Sarah Jane Hennelly (Limerick City) are part of a generation of voters who want to see a new form of politics.

Gary Gannon

The campaigns are expected to be the subject of some claims of nepotism due to the fact two of the candidates — Ms McNally and Mr Ó Tuathail — have previously worked behind the scenes for two of the party’s current TDs, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly while another, Mr Heffernan, is a former Labour senator who left over social welfare cuts in 2012.

James Heffernan

However, speaking at the launch of the election bids, Ms Murphy insisted: “If you want more of the same, don’t look at us.”

Niall Ó Tuathail

Mr Donnelly said candidates for the party — which shares leadership among its three existing TDs — are facing a “David and Goliath” battle against rivals with “millions and millions” to spend. However, despite the uphill task, Ms Shortall said interest is growing and that further candidates will be revealed in two weeks.

Sarah Jane Hennelly

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