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Meet your Candidates: The politicians they admire most

The clock is ticking. General Election 2020 is now just six days away.

And here at LaoisToday, we have surveyed all of the 26 candidates who are running in Laois-Offaly and Kildare South.

We asked candidates a total of 13 questions and 18 of them responded in full.

Some of the questions were serious, others were a bit more light-hearted.

So far, we have asked them what the biggest issue in their constituency is, their favourite films and ideal dinner guests, pet hates and favourite TV programmes and whether social media is a good or a bad thing, their earliest political memories and what they wanted to be growing up a child.

We will be publishing their responses every evening between now and the election itself on February 8.

The candidates that didn’t respond are listed also.


Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (Fine Gael)

Former Minister for Justice, Nora Owen.

John Daly (The National Party)

Tom Barry, Dan Breen, Michael Collins and Pádraig Pearse.

Charlie Flanagan (Fine Gael) 

Daniel O’Connell.

Pauline Flanagan (Fianna Fáil) –

There are many, but if I had to pick one, it would be Jack Lynch who entered politics in 1948.  His entry into power marked a departure from the past, as he had no republican credentials.  Jack Lynch led Ireland through very difficult times as he dealt with a divided party and the outbreak of troubles in Northern Ireland.  I also like the fact that he was a great GAA dual player (as are my two sons, Frank and Paul Flanagan with Portlaoise GAA) and he won six All Ireland medals in a row with Cork.

Sean Fleming (Fianna Fail)

Nelson Mandela.

Pippa Hackett (Green Party)

Benazir Bhutto – former female Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Noel O’Rourke (Renua)

Brian Lenihan.

Brian Stanley (Sinn Féin) 

Martin McGuinness.

Noel Tuohy (Labour) 

James Connolly and John Hume.

Did not respond: Barry Cowen (Fianna Fail); John Leahy (Independent); Carol Nolan (Independent), Peter Ormond (Fianna Fáil); Ken Smollen (Irish Democratic Party); Stephen Tynan (People Before Profit),


Cathal Berry (Independent) 

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand. I have admired her for a long time but recently, in the wake of the Christchurch shootings and confronted with communities divided by hate, she has lead her country with character, competence and empathy, shunning hate and division in favour of inclusivity. Humanity is often overlooked as a leadership attribute but there’s a huge
amount of strength and power in it. As a working father I am hugely inspired by her dedication and commitment to public office while at the same time integrating her role as a mother into professional life.

Linda Hayden (Social Democrats)

That one’s easy, it’s Catherine Murphy TD, who was my reason for joining the Social Democrats. She is everything we should expect from out politicians, hard working, honest, accountable and she is not afraid to dig deep for the answers. If I am even half the TD she is I’ll be doing a good job.

Martin Heydon (Fine Gael)  

Wt Cosgrave.

Ronan Maher (Green Party) 

Oh that’s a tough one. It’d probably be our leader Eamon Ryan. He’s been an absolute inspiration since I joined the party and his leadership has brought us to a very positive position.

Fiona McLoughlin-Healy (Independent)

Countess Markievicz (Constance Gore-Booth). She was the first female politician elected to the UK House of Commons and became the first female cabinet minister in Europe.

She also dedicated her life to the poor.

Anita Mhic Ghib (Aontu)

Nelson Mandela.

Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fail) 

Countess Markievicz, Obama, Sean Lemass.

Roisin Ui Bhroin (Solidarity-People Before Profit)

Martin Luthor King – I have a dream!!!

Did not respond: Suzanne Doyle (Fianna Fáil); Patricia Ryan (Sinn Féin); Mark Wall (Labour)

SEE ALSO – Check out all the 2020 General Election coverage on LaoisToday