Mairead Guinness

  • Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness is not being permitted to take part in European election interviews on Midwest Radio.

    The European candidates running in the Midlands-Northwest constituency are being interviewed individually on the Tommy Marren show in the run-up to polling day on Friday.

    However, as Fine Gael has split the constituency among its two candidates -  Mairead McGuinness and Maria Walsh, Ms McGuinness has told Midwest Radio today that she cannot take part in the programme, and has apologised for not being able to do so.

    Meanwhile, Mairead McGuinness claimed the top expenses of Ireland's MEPs during their five-year term in the European Parliament.

    Figures published in the Irish Examiner show that nine of Ireland's eleven MEPs claimed a total of €5.5 million in expenses between 2014 and 2019, while Luke Ming Flanagan and outgoing MEP Brian Crowley refused to answer questions about expenses and allowances.

    Of the 9 MEPs that responded, Mairead McGuinness was the top claimant, receiving over €709,000 in allowances and reimbursements, on top of her salary and monthly staff allowance.

    Elsewhere in the Midlands-Northwest constituency, Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy claimed expenses of over €646,000 since being elected in 2014 - of which €216,000 was for travel, while Independent MEP Marian Harkin, who's retiring from European politics, claimed expenses of just over €590,000 - of which €81,000 was for travel.

    These expenses are on top of their annual salary of €105,000 and a separate monthly budget of almost €25,000 given to pay for personal assistants' wages.

  • Fine Gael candidates are on track to top the poll in all three European Parliament constituencies, according to a special Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll taken with sample ballot papers earlier this week.

    Fianna Fáil will also challenge strongly to elect MEPs in each of the constituencies, while Sinn Féin’s three MEPs will see their vote decline substantially but remain in the running to retain their seats.

    The poll indicates that other left-wing candidates are likely to end up competing with each for the remaining seats, though Luke Ming Flanagan in Midlands North West is likely to poll strongly and be returned, according to this poll.

    The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll was conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week among 500 voters in each of the three European parliament constituencies using a sample ballot paper, a total of 1,500 voters across 150 sampling points in all constituencies. The accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 4.4 per cent at the European constituency level.

    In the Midlands Northwest constituency  Mairead McGuinness a sitting  MEP is set to be a runaway poll topper on 26%.

    Ind Luke Flanagan is on 16 per cent, while Sinn Féin sitting MEP Matt Carthy is on 14 per cent.

    Marie Walsh FG is on 11 percent, Peter Casey 9 % , Brendan Smith  FF 8% and Ann Rabbitte FF on 5 %.

    The rest of the candidates in this constituency are polling below the margin of error ( from 1 to 3 %)