INDEPENDENT County Councillor Gerry Flynn said his Dáil ambitions could be thwarted by the State’s method of funding politics, which prioritises established parties over new entrants.
He feels he would need at least €20,000 of a war chest at the start of a campaign and while he is very keen to run, he won’t do so unless he feels he has at least a reasonable chance of winning a seat.
Mr Flynn also said that Shane Ross, who is attempting to put together an alliance to contest the next general election, has sought to make contact with him but there have been no discussions between them as yet.
Councillor Flynn said he is still assessing his level of support but that financial considerations are also a major issue for him, as he considers running for the Dáil.
“If I run in the general election, I’m not going to put my name down just to make up the numbers. If I was to run I know it’d cost me a considerable amount of money because, as you know, an independent doesn’t get any support from the government. The parties are basically funded by the taxpayer, whereas we don’t get a penny.
“I’m a guy that never put up a poster, probably couldn’t afford it anyway but the bottom line is that, for me to run in the general election, I know it would be a fierce hit on my family. It would cost a huge amount of money.”
“I’m biding my time to see what type of support is there for me. I’m gauging it, believe you me, because there is nothing more I’d love than to have a cut at it, but financial constraints could scupper it and that’s the truth.”
He said he expects the next vote to be what he called “the strangest general election ever”.
Councillor Flynn, originally from West Clare but long domiciled in Shannon, acknowledged that to be in with a shout, he would need to dramatically increase the number of votes he has won in local elections.
He also said that with a lot of uncertainty around, transfers will be crucial, while he feels if there are too many candidates from the non-establishment parties, it could actually cut the chances of any of them being elected.
“Having done tallies at general elections I know how the votes fall and I know how preferences are so important, with proportional representation. Then the other thing is there’s every chance that you’ll have a plethora of all sorts of candidates running in this next election. You’ll have Sinn Féin, you’ll have some independents, the Anti Austerity Alliance, they’re all jockeying for position and that could splinter the vote.”