By Owen Ryan
PROBABLY the most emotional scenes of the day so far broke out when Clare Colleran Molloy took the final seat in Ennis, just pipping Ger O’Halloran.
It was hard to get to talk to the new councillor, as she was under siege from excited well wishers and friends, and she said she was over the moon with winning a seat. “It’s fantastic, as I said earlier it’s wonderful when you put in the effort and you get the reward you’re looking for. It goes to show the importance of knocking on all the doors or at least as many of them as possible.”
At the last local election in 09 and at the time of the general election three years ago Fianna Fáil candidates were getting a hot reception on the doorsteps, but she said that didn’t happen this spring. “I didn’t hear that on the doors, people want to move on from the mistakes of the past. We know mistakes were made by Fianna Fáil but people just want things to be sorted, maybe not with such a disproportionate burden being felt by the vulnerable in our society, that’s what I’m hearing at the doorstep. Older people with medical cards being taken, young people that are sick also. There’s an awful lot of people who can’t pay their bills or can’t pay their charges. They are wondering how the Government expect these bills to be paid.”
She said she has always been involved in community activities if not politics and was encouraged to stand when Quin was included in the Ennis Municipal District. “Throughout my adult life I’ve been involved in community work, in terms of Soroptomists, Rotary and Junior Chamber, just building awareness for charities and raising money for them. A word was put in my ear by one of my sisters after the 2011 general election when Fianna Fáil did so poorly. I felt they had lost touch with grassroots and mistakes had been made that shouldn’t have been. I know there was a worldwide financial collapse but I felt there should have been better guidance at the helm.
“ Over time I gave it a bit of thought, then I watched the way the boundaries were defined for this election. Quin, where I’m from was aligned with Ennis where my husband is well known and I said I’d put the effort in because I felt I had a good chance. If Quin had gone with Ennis I wouldn’t have considered it.”