Money pouring in for Shiels but bookies unconvinced

Cllr Dessie Shiels.

Cllr Dessie Shiels.

PUNTERS in Letterkenny are queuing up to put money on Independent candidate Dessie Shiels winning a seat in the new five-seat Donegal constituency.
As soon as Paddy Power went up with the General Election Constituency betting market, their Letterkenny shop was packed with customers smashing up the 40/1 they were offering on the Letterkenny solicitor.
“The Power Tower in leafy Dublin 4 is a long way from Letterkenny and it is difficult to gauge what is happening on the ground up there.
“However, after a poor showing in the local elections in Letterkenny in 2014, it is difficult to see the improvement required coming in to a General election and thus we are more than happy to take on Shiels at his current price of 13/2,” a spokeswoman for the company said.
According to the bookmaker, Sinn Fein have two of the seats in Donegal boxed off, with outgoing TDs Pearse Doherty and Pádraig MacLochlainn all but past the post while Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh looks on course for the third seat.
This leaves the remaining two seats up for grabs and latest polls in the area suggest that the two Fianna Fail runners (Deputy Charlie McConalogue and Pat The Cope Gallagher) will get in and Independent Thomas Pringle will lose out.
Charlie McConalogue polled particularly well and is now 1/10 to hold his seat while Pat the Cope Gallagher has come in for significant support. From an opening price of 13/8, the former TD and MEP is now 1/6 to pick up a seat in the next Dáil.
Both Doherty and MacLochlainn are effectively unbackable at 1/100 and 1/25 respectively while Minister McHugh is 1/18
Deputy Pringle is 5/4 with Shiels (Ind) 13/2 and both Paddy Harte (Fine Gael) and Gary Doherty (Sinn Féin) priced at 10/1.
Niamh Kennedy (Ind) is 20/1 with Frank McBrearty (Ind) 33/1, Tim Jackson (Ind) 50/1 and Paula Flanagan (Green Party) 80/1.
The odds for the other three candidates Ian McGarvey, Michael Mooney and Cordelia Níc Fhearraigh (Fís Nua) were not on the website at the time of going to press.

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