Curtain comes down on Connaughton era

Edel and Paul Connaughton at the count in New Inn. photo: Gerry Stronge.
Edel and Paul Connaughton at the count in New Inn. photo: Gerry Stronge.

It was the end of a political dynasty – the last time the Connaughton name would be on an election ticket…for the time being at least.

Former TD Paul Connaughton has announced his intention to opt out of politics for the time being – but he hasn’t ruled out putting his name on a ballot paper in the future.

However, at the count in New Inn for Galway East he said that the bite had gone out of politics for him and he conceded defeat at an early stage.

Young Paul, as he is commonly regarded, lost the Connaughton seat that had been held in the constituency for more than three decades. It was a major disappointment for the family who have been associated with with Fine Gael politics down through the years. It is like a legacy has ended.

Paul said that he was very disappointed not to have retained his seat and said that he would not be standing in another election.

He was there for the result of the first count and he was followed in a short time later by his parents, former TD Paul senior and his wife Berni. Young Paul was also accompanied by his wife Edel.

It was probably the first time in the history of the Connaughton clan that they arrived at a count centre without a seat to go away with.

“I have lost the bite for politics at the moment so it goes without saying that I will not be standing for the Seanad. In fact it could be the end of the road for me going before the electorate again.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.