One cheeky voter in Galway has a message for the outgoing coalition: recovery my backside!
Colourful Michael Dempsey of Moylough says the bare facts are at odds with Fine Gael and Labour’s claims that the economy is recovering.
Mr Dempsey, who lost his job in the haulage industry in 2011, and who owes the banks a lot of money, says he is tired of Government spin.
“There’s a sign at the end of the road. ‘Fine Gael – keep the recovery going’. What recovery? There’s no recovery around here,” he says.
“I’m sick of politicians saying ‘I hear this on the doorsteps and I hear that on the doorsteps’. They didn’t knock on my door. They put leaflets through the letterbox ‘sorry I missed you’ but they didn’t knock,” he says.
Mr Dempsey says he would ask each candidate two questions, about the economy and abortion.
“I think the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny insulted me and insulted the people of Ireland when he said we don’t understand economic jargon or the fiscal space. I have an issue with that. I’d also ask them about the eighth amendment. I’m not religious but I think abortion is murder,” says Mr Dempsey.
Mr Dempsey’s sign, which includes a photograph of a bottom, was made in Tuam to highlight the Government’s record.
He lists a whole host of issues, including unemployment, banks not lending, homelessness, and emigration as evidence that there is no recovery. Mr Dempsey, who made headlines during the recession when he put his home on the market for €1, fears there will be a flood of repossessions after the election.
Mr Dempsey says he is from Fianna Fáil stock but he ‘loaned’ his vote to Labour five years ago. He says people in Moylough are “vexed” that local Galway County Councillor Michael Connolly lost out at the party’s selection convention.
“I won’t be voting Fine Gael, Labour or Fianna Fáil this time. I might even spoil my vote – drive the tallymen daft,” he said.
TALLIES: Fine Gael will struggle to hold seat in City East
Fine Gael will struggle to hold its seat in Galway City East.
TALLIES: Cheevers looks set to take a seat in City East
With just over half the boxes tallied for Galway City East, Fianna Fáil’s Alan Cheevers looks set to take a seat, polling at over 17 per cent of first preferences.
With Mervue, Ballybane and Tirellan polling stations still to be tallied, Cheevers has taken the lead, with Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty slipping into second with 16 per cent.
Incumbent Fianna Fáil councillor Mike Crowe is on 10.5 per cent, with Independent councillor Declan McDonnell on 8 per cent.
The Green’s Claire Hillery looks to be benefitting from the party’s nationwide jump in the polls, collecting 6.5 per cent of first preferences.
Sitting Councillors Noel Larkin (Ind), Mairéad Farrell (SF) and John Walsh (FG) are polling at 7.5 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.
Also still in contention is the Social Democrats’ Owen Hanley with 6.6 per cent of the vote.
Deal demands better focus on rural Ireland initiatives
A concession on turf cutting, an examination of the decision to close rural Garda stations and post offices – as well as flood alleviation – are all on the shopping list for at least two of Galway’s independent TDs before any agreement to support a new Government.
Both Michael Fitzmaurice from Glinsk and Sean Canney from Tuam have been in discussions with the main parties since the general election with a view to securing their support.
They are part of the six-strong Independent Alliance which also includes Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and Shane Ross – but top of their list concerns they have regarding rural Ireland.
It is understood that part of any deal would see some concession on the whole turf cutting controversy, while the issue of the closure of rural Garda Stations and rural post offices are also high on the agenda.
Deputy Canney said that so too was the recent flooding crisis and added that many farmers and individual householders were still suffering.
The Independent Alliance will hold further discussions with the parties and Deputy Canney emphasised that they were not demanding ministerial positions but just a better deal for rural Ireland.
They are demanding, however, that there will be a full Minister for Rural Affairs appointed once the new government is formed.
Deputy Canney added that it was being suggested that a TD in each constituency would report back to this department.