Thursday, June 20, 2024

Controversial Dublin MEP candidate Clare Daly loses seat despite celebrity backing

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Clare Daly, Ireland’s outspoken and controversial Dublin MEP candidate, has lost her seat despite celebrity endorsements from Annie Lennox, Susan Sarandon and other prominent figures.

The leftwing candidate was eliminated on Tuesday after falling behind rival candidates in the Dublin constituency on the 17th count.

During her stint at the European parliament, Daly denounced western “militarism” and was accused of giving succour to Vladimir Putin and other dictators, which she denied. She gained a big following on social media platforms and often appeared on state-leaning media in China and Russia.

“I have been honoured to have been able to use this platform as a powerful voice for peace, antimilitarism and neutrality,” Daly posted on X. “This result is not a rejection of those ideas. It is testament to the success and reach of the work we’ve done that the establishment came out in such force to harm my chances of reelection.”

Daly has 424,000 followers on X and high-profile supporters in the arts. During the election campaign Lennox, the Eurythmics singer, and Sarandon, the Thelma and Louise star, posted messages urging Irish voters to back the Independents 4 Change candidate.

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews and Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty were on track to take two of the four seats in the Dublin constituency. Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, Independent Ireland’s Niall Boylan, a radio DJ and Labour’s and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin competing for the remaining two.

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Green politician Ciarán Cuffe, who helped clinch controversial new legislation on buildings energy efficiency across the block, also lost his seat, eliminated in the following round in a knife-edge count.

Cuffe said: “This isn’t a good day for me, but the issues that we stand for are much bigger than one election, much bigger than one person or, indeed, one party. We’ve been around a long time, and the issues that we represent and our party will be around for a long time.”

As Daly left the count centre in south Dublin, she rebuffed an RTÉ reporter who asked for an interview. “You had no interest in talking to me for five years, so I’ve no interest in talking to you.”

Voters bolstered Ireland’s centrist government, chastened Sinn Féin and elected a handful of far-right candidates in local elections that coincided with the European elections. The ruling coalition appeared poised to also do well in the European election, with counting expected to continue at least until Wednesday.

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