Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Multiple Candidate has a posting revealing that Noel O'Gara is to stand for election. O'Gara is a, lets say colourful (and I mean that in an amused way), business man who managed to buy the freehold for Dartmouth Square in Dublin for €10,000 in 2005 and now wants to build a car park and apartments on it or sell it to the council for €100 million.

The situation in Dartmouth Square is a bloody disgrace with both sides messing around and nothing getting sorted. The thing about it is that while O'Garas stunts are annoying and obviously intended to piss off the council and the locals in order to get the maximum payment for the land it would appear that he is the legal owner of the square or the council would have kicked his ass out by now. The council themselves messed up when they refused to buy the freehold and instead leased the park from the previous owner. I hope someone got fired for that mistake, but I doubt it, union regulations probably mean he's been promoted.

Anyway, now according to, O'Gara is running for election, not just in Dublin South East where the park is situated but also in Laois-Offaly, Roscommon-South Leitrim and Longford-Westmeath. That raises some interesting questions. First can someone actually stand for election in more than one constituency? I suppose so, after all if O'Gara is good at anything it's spotting loopholes and opportunities (2 acres of prime land in Dublin selling for €10,000 was the worlds biggest opportunity). Next this is unlikely but what happens if O'Gara or any candidate got elected to the Dail from multiple constituencies. Would they be allowed to represent multiple constituencies or would they be forced to pick one and have a by-election in the others? If they could keep all their seats then in theory could we have a situation where someone got enough seats to form their own political party, or even in an extremely theoretical case form their own one person government? Silly I know but I'm curious.

Strictly speaking article 16.2 of the constitution could stop one member of parliament representing multiple constituencies
The number of members shall from time to time be fixed by law, but the total number of members of Dáil Éireann shall not be fixed at less than one member for each thirty thousand of the population, or at more than one member for each twenty thousand of the population.

But the wonderful thing about this is the government themselves have already ignored this article and allowed the election to go ahead despite census figures that show that many constituencies are misrepresented in the Dáil.

UPDATE 25-May: Things are not looking good for Noel, check his results here...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to pick one and resign the others. In the UK you have a week to choose which; dunno how long in Ireland.

In 1923, Eoin MacNeill and Michael Hayes won 2 seats; in September 1927, WT Cosgrave did. In 1880, Parnell won three.