Saturday, February 26, 2011

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan elected as TD

"If Ming Flanagan wins a seat he'll go from burning weed, to burning turf, to probably wanting to burn the bondholders" - John Bowman on RTE.

An independent politician and social campaigner, best known for his long running campaign to legalise cannabis, the subject of two documentary films, Dole Éireann, which followed his 1997 Dáil election bid and The Life and Crimes of Citizen Ming which was shot over a longer period, and documents various election bids and tangles with the law.

Tonight Luke 'Ming' Flanagan was elected as a TD in the 31st Dáil, taking the first seat in Roscommon South Leitrim with 12,149 votes on the fourth count.

Throughout the day via updates from Luke's campaign page and other news sources covering the general elections it looked like Luke was destined for one of the three seats. He was in third place after the first count and had climbed to second after the third count, following the fourth count he was declared the first person to win a seat.

The current Councillor and Mayor of Roscommon, and TD to be in the 31st Dail was scoffed at when he first entered the political arena

He first ran in 1997 in the Galway West constituency urging the legalisation of cannabis and as a protest candidate against his landlord, Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey. He got 548 votes.

He went on to contest the Connacht–Ulster constituency at the 1999 European Parliament election receiving 5,000 votes.

He ran in Longford–Roscommon constituency at the 2002 general election receiving 779 votes.

He returned to his native Castlerea in County Roscommon and contested the 2004 local elections, and was elected to Roscommon County Council, topping the poll and getting elected on the first count, defeating sitting councillors John Murray and Danny Burke.

He was re-elected on the first count at 2009 local elections, receiving 16.8% of 1st preference votes in the Castlerea electoral area

On 28 June 2010, Flanagan was elected as the Mayor of Roscommon County Council

Congratulations to Luke and let's hope he pushes for reform whilst in Dail Eireann.

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