Saturday deadline looming for aspiring cllrs to get in the ring

As campaigning for the local and European elections are ramped up across the county, the deadline for nominations to run in the local elections is 12 noon this Saturday. Candidates will then have until 12 noon on Monday to withdraw their nomination if they wish.

A record 27 candidates have already been declared for the forthcoming European Parliament elections in the Midlands North West constituency, which includes county Meath and it is expected that well in excess of 70 candidates will be running in the local elections in Meath when details are confirmed on Monday. There are 40 seats available on Meath County Council and five in the Midlands North West European constituency.

Voting will take place in 234 polling stations across County Meath on Friday 7th June. While the final figure for the electorate won’t be known until next Monday, at the time of going to press there were 158,357 people registered to vote in the election for Meath County Council and 152, 293 Meath voters for the EE election.

Ballot papers for both the local and European elections will be sorted and reconciled in Trim GAA centre on Saturday 8th June and then the European ballot papers will be transferred to Castlebar for counting, where Marian Chambers-Higgins will be returning officer. The deputy returning office in Trim will be Kevin Martin.

The County Council ballot papers will be transferred to Simonstown GAA Centre where the returning officer will be Dara McGowan.

Counting will then begin in both polls on Sunday 9th June.

With nominations for the European poll closed there are 74 candidates in total standing in all three Irish constituencies.

Midlands-North-West will have 27 candidates on the ballot – with five seats to fill – including two sitting MEPs and a number of high-profile candidates in former jockey Nina Carberry, ex-broadcaster Ciaran Mullooly, journalist, John Watters and businessman, Peter Casey.

The Midlands-North West candidates include nine independents.

There are 23 candidates running in the four-seat Dublin constituency and a further 23 will contest the European election in the five-seat Ireland South constituency.

The Midlands-North West constituency consists of 15 counties across Connacht, Ulster and most of Leinster, including county Meath.

The current MEPs in this constituency are Colm Markey FG, Chris MacManus SF, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Ind and Maria Walsh FG, with McManus, Flanagan and Walsh seeking re-election

Five MEPs will be returned in this election, following the additional allocation of an MEP for Ireland last year.

Meanwhile, poster for the candidates have popped up across the county over the past week with some appearing at first light the first day that they were officially allowed to be erected - last Wednesday.

The posters are only allowed be erected 30 days before the polls open and must be taken down within a week after the election ends and must be fastened by plastic zip-ties only. Metal fixings, such as screws and nails, or adhesives such as glue or blue-tack are not permitted.