Driving rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of die-hard Fine Gael supporters in Clare last Saturday, who flocked to see the favourite for next Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
There was a noticeable spring the step of local strategists as the Fine Gael leader met voters in Shannon and Ennis. Deputy Pat Breen was delighted with the turnout of over 200 people to welcome Deputy Kenny in Ennis.
“The wind was literally at our backs last Saturday. Clare people wanted to come out and meet Deputy Kenny. People see Fine Gael as the main government party after the General Election and overall there was a great buzz of anticipation and excitement during the visit,” he said.
Deputy Joe Carey said he felt many people from Clare recognised Enda Kenny as a man who understood the issues here in the West.
“In both Shannon and Ennis, his visit was a huge shot in the arm for the Fine Gael organisation in County Clare. There is a clear appetite for change among the electorate and I believe that Fine Gael have the policies to effect this change. Fine Gael now need to maximise its vote and play its role here locally in changing this disastrous Government and replace it with a new, energised and forward-thinking administration that places job creation as a top priority. I am fully confident that Enda Kenny will deliver for the Mid-West as Taoiseach,” he said.
Flanked by Deputy Pat Breen, Deputy Joe Carey and Councillor Tony Mulcahy, Deputy Kenny went on a short walk from the Temple Gate Hotel to O’Connell Street, stopping off to discuss shop closures in Ennis with local florist Mary Mulqueen and also had a brief chat with Jack Heaslip and his son in their shop.
He kept up the brisk pace going through Dunnes Stores, heading back to the Temple Gate Hotel before departing for some quick refreshments in the Auburn Lodge Hotel, where he met soccer legend, Johnny Giles.
St Flannan’s Secondary School pupil Oliver Higgins from Clarecastle was one of the first young people who stopped to meet the Fine Gael leader in the Dunnes Stores Shopping Centre shopping mall.
Oliver told The Clare Champion he would vote for the party that would radically change the government to transform it into a very good administration working for the people.
Shortly afterwards, he stopped to have a brief conversation with Ann Garrihy from Ennistymon. Deputy Kenny told her he knew her brother, Michael Scally, Ballinadereen, Roscommon a former Fine Gael public representative who served two terms on Roscommon County Council.