The 2019 European Parliament election will be held in Ireland on 24th May 2019, on the same day as local elections.
While two of the MEPs elected will not take their seats until Brexit is legally finalised, thirteen MEPs will be elected altogether.
Peter Casey’s Sights on Europe
One person hoping to claim a seat in Brussels is Dragon’s Den businessman Peter Casey. After his controversial presidential campaign last year, he received over a fifth of the votes, making him the presidential runner up. He announced his plans for running in the Midlands-North-West constituency, with a definite focus on the rural-urban divide.
In an interview with the Independent.ie, Casey explained this shift from the Dáil to Europe by stating that he believes he “can make a real difference.”
Casey’s Manifesto – Focus on Rural Areas
Casey’s main message is that politics has let down rural Ireland in favour of the nation’s capital: “The Government must stop promoting Dublin as the centre of the universe, which only drives up the price of Dublin real estate and encourages more people to leave and ignore rural Ireland. If they pump any more jobs into Dublin, it’s going to fall into the Irish Sea,” he says.
Proposing plans for rural economic development and enterprise expansion, Casey is suggesting tax-free and corporate gains tax-free periods and agreements as an incentive for companies to set up in rural areas.
Casey so far has addressed issues such as commuter traffic and rural isolation. He also wants more effort put into the encouragement of students to study in rural Ireland, through providing free or discounted education – ideas that will go down well in rural areas.
His constituency stretches over 13 counties, and so far it seems as though he has a good chance of election amongst the new faces of Maria Walsh (Fine Gael), Dominic Hannigan (Labour), Saoirse McHugh (Green), Cyril Brennan (People Before Profit) and Michael O’Dowd (Renua).