Poll-topp er in the last local elections, Councillor Cathal Crowe is seriously considering contesting the next general election following the unexpected
transfer of almost 6,000 voters into the Clare constituency.
A new report published by the Constituency Commission recommends that the high variance in the constituency be addressed by the transfer of 5,994 people from the electoral division of Ballyglass in Limerick City to Clare. This will restore the breach of the county boundary for the next general election.
The last deputy from the area was Patrick Brennan from Meelick, who was elected for Cumman na nGael in the 1920s.
Councillor Crowe revealed to The Clare Champion that he will discuss the possibility of seeking a coveted place on the Fianna Fáil general election ticket with his family and political supporters over the coming days.
“I would love to be a TD for Clare. I would love a chance to win a place on the Fianna
Fáil ticket for the next general election. I will give this matter strong consideration over the coming days and discuss it with my family.
“Having successfully contested three local elections, I believe I have a lot to offer as a
possible Dáil candidate. I am a good vote-getter and I have worked hard on the ground over the last 13 years.
“I have been elected to Clare County Council in two electoral areas in Killaloe and Shannon. I topped the poll in the Shannon Electoral Area in 2014 and secured the highest vote for a Fianna Fáil candidate, with 1,929 first preferences.
“I was geographically disadvantaged for the 2009 Local Elections when members of my own family could not even vote for me. I now have a more solid electoral platform to launch a Dáil bid, following the return of almost 6,000 people back to the Clare constituency,” he says.
If, as expected, the 34-year-old father-of-two seeks the party ticket, it will create a major selection headache for party strategists.
Deputy Timmy Dooley, former Clare GAA county board chairman Michael ‘Malty’
McDonagh and Councillor Clare Colleran-Molloy contested the last general election for Fianna Fáil, while former Ennis Chamber chief executive, Rita McInerney,
participated in the selection convention.
A similar line-up next time out would present a crowded field for Councillor
Crowe to negotiate.
Fianna Fáil’s die-hard supporters are still wondering how Fine Gael received 25.98% of the vote in the last election and returned their two outgoing deputies, Pat Breen and Joe Carey, while their party captured 31.11% of the electorate and only won
one seat, which was retained by Deputy Dooley.
Undoubtedly, Councillor Crowe is the big winner from the constituency change, as he is the only high profile public representative currently based n South-East Clare.
One of the factors going against him, however, is that Deputy Dooley, who
lives in Tulla and is a native of Moutshannon, is regarded as an East Clare deputy. It remains to be seen whether or not delegates would also select a south-east
representative on the ticket.