Ciaran Mullooly and Michael Fitzmaurice at Lough Funshinagh on April 5 last.

Mullooly confirmed for Independent Ireland in Midlands-North West

Following a day of speculation on Friday, former RTÉ midlands correspondent Ciaran Mullooly has confirmed he will be a candidate for June’s European Parliament Elections in the Midlands-North West constituency.

The constituency spans 15 counties from Donegal to Kildare and across to Galway and is the geographically largest constituency. With the return of Laois and Offaly to the constituency following their movement to the South constituency in 2019, Midlands-North West will elect five MEPs in June up from four in 2019.

Speaking on Saturday, Ciaran Mullooly said: “I am delighted to announce that I will be a candidate for Independent Ireland in the upcoming European elections, and my goal is to take a seat in the Midlands-North West constituency so that I can bring into focus the list of issues which need to be highlighted in the European Parliament.”

For the last 30 years, Ciaran has been deeply committed to rural Ireland, as a broadcaster at local and national level and through his involvement in a community development initiatives across the midlands: “These projects focused on disability support, tourism promotion, sports and recreation, suicide prevention and many more issues that are near and dear to people of rural Ireland.

“As RTÉ midlands correspondent, I witnessed the growing frustration of rural communities. rural Ireland has been grossly neglected and I am prepared to stand up and shout stop, to quote another man from the world of journalism – the great rural champion, John Healy.”

Rural focus

Ciaran emphasised his appreciation of the challenges facing rural Ireland: “I am putting myself before the electorate on June 7 because I want to play my part in bringing about badly needed, long-overdue, positive change.

“I have worked with voluntary committees to help set up projects such as the first Pieta House Centre in the midlands, in Athlone, the QUAD Youth Centre in Roscommon town and the Lions Clubs of Ireland’s Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training programme across 14 counties. So, I am acutely aware of the many public policy issues making life tougher for hardworking volunteers in every corner of the country.

“From my time working with disability advocacy groups and spearheading rural tourism projects, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges and triumphs of rural life. I step into the political arena with a clear mission: to be an effective voice for rural communities and to strongly and unapologetically represent their interests at a European level.”

Noting that some 70% of the legislation going through Leinster House has its origins at a European level, Ciaran criticised some of the unrealistic targets and proposed restrictions being set in Europe: “Restrictions on farming practices, ever-increasing rural isolation, changes to land use policy, and decisions made at an EU level that are making it harder to roll out infrastructure and housing projects here at home are beyond a crisis point.

“The traditional means of employment across towns and villages in the Midlands-North West constituency are all under threat. I would go so far as to say that the threat from new EU and state policies has never been greater. We need to meet it head-on and deliver a team of MEPs who will push back on EU over-reach and advocate effectively for rural interests.”

Joining Independent Ireland

His decision to join Independent Ireland was an easy one: “The party’s focus on local issues, grassroots activism and tangible solutions to real problems resonates with my values and convictions. Together, we will work tirelessly to ensure that the concerns of rural Ireland are not just heard but acted on.

“Those who know me know that I am not a shrinking violet. When Michael Fitzmaurice, TD, invited me to join Independent Ireland, I made it clear I would not be a mouthpiece for anything or anyone. My sole concern was a progressive plan for the regeneration of our rural communities, an ambition I know Michael shares and has shared over his time in activism and politics.

“We have agreed a strategy for progress in urban and rural settings, with the cooperation of party members, the region’s fantastic voluntary sector and the progressive new communities dotted all over the constituency.

“Now is the time for change. Now is the time for the communities of rural Ireland to reclaim their power and shape their individual and collective destinies. I am confident I can win a seat in the European Parliament and continue to work to deliver for the people of this constituency.”


Welcoming Mr Mullooly to Independent Ireland, the party’s TD for Roscommon Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice said: “Ciaran is a straight shooter and a hard worker. He is a formidable candidate to represent the people of Midlands-North West.”

Deputy Fitzmaurice, who had been expected to announce a run in Midlands-North West himself, said: “Mullooly is our candidate for Europe. His dedication to and understanding of the challenges facing rural communities make him a uniquely qualified candidate.

“I have first-hand experience of just how dogged Ciaran is when he working to achieve a goal for his community. He leaves no stone unturned and in having assisted him with some projects in recent years, such as the Lough Ree Access For All project, I can say this for certain, if Mullooly is on the job, the job will get done.

“Common sense is a rare thing in politics these days, and I have every faith that Ciaran will deliver a seat in Europe for the party of common sense, in June.”

Independent Ireland leader, Michael Collins, TD, said he was “delighted” to welcome Ciaran to the party he founded with Limerick TD, Richard O’Donoghue, late last year: “Ciaran is a true community man, he’s spent a lifetime working to build up his community and the wider fortunes of rural areas across the midlands.

General secretary of Independent Ireland, Richard O’Donoghue, TD for Limerick County, also welcomed Mr Mullooly to the Party’s European ticket: “It’s volunteers and community workers like Ciaran who are the lifeblood of our communities. Ciaran has done more over the last 30 years in voluntary and community organising roles than most MEPs would do in 1,000 terms in Europe. I do not doubt that he will continue to do so, and as an MEP for Midlands-North West will deliver more for his constituency than any other candidate.”


Since retiring from RTÉ in 2021, Ciaran has worked with Roscommon LEADER Partnership and most recently Longford Tourism, roles in which he has had a role in the community engagement and roll-out of the EU Just Transition Funding put in place to support Bord Na Móna and ESB Networks transition away from peat extraction across the midlands: “I’ve chosen to take leave from my role in tourism promotion in Longford for a number of weeks to fully commit myself to this campaign. It’s a move I make secure in the knowledge that the work we do now will lay the foundations for a brighter future for the midlands and the north-west.

“It is vital that the electorate of rural Ireland stand up and are heard. I will be a strong presence in Brussels on CAP issues, nitrates legislation, disability issues, infrastructure and housing and the next EU Just Transition Fund to support Bord Na Móna and ESB workers and communities who feel abandoned by the state. Together, we can regenerate rural Ireland and we will start by putting people first.”