Hello Mary Lou and hello to the Dáil as well!

Good luck to Mary Lou McDonald who has been selected to stand as the Sinn Féin candidate in Bertie Ahern's Dublin Central constituency at the next 26 county election. Mary Lou's candidature provoked a bit of debate over at slugger but I think it is good to see Sinn Féin selecting a hard working representative who will hopefully become Sinn Féin's first female TD since the party began to fight Dáil elections again in the 1980s.

Nicky Kehoe, the previous candidate in the consituency and the person who nominated Mary Lou came within 74 votes of being elected last time out. I pay little attention to the fanciful theory expressed by some on Slugger that these votes will not be easily gained by Mary Lou. Mary Lou McDonald has a proven track record as a winner in Dublin. She will be able to rely on a core Republican vote and I am certain that she will be able to entice new voters who had not previously considered Sinn Féin as an option at the polls. I'm also confident that despite the fact that Sinn Féin often struggle for transfers, Mary Lou may well be able to attract a large number of Berite Ahern's transfers. Given the rise of Sinn Féin since the last Dáil election and the quality of the candidate, I firmly expect Dublin Central to be one of a number of Sinn Féin gains.

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