Shannon Councillor Gerry Flynn raised the possibility of running in the next general election.
An independent, he is a former member of Fine Gael and has been a member of Clare County Council since 2004, while he served on Shannon Town Council from 1999 until it was disbanded earlier this year.
Speaking to The Clare Champion, he was very critical of the county’s six Oireachtas members (TDs Pat Breen, Joe Carey, Michael McNamara and Timmy Dooley, as well as senators, Martin Conway and Shannon’s Tony Mulcahy).
“I feel that the six Oireachtas members aren’t really representing the people, that they have been mute in the Dáil and that’s not the type of representation the people of Clare want.
“I said that if they don’t buck themselves up and represent the people of Clare, I would consider running in the Dáil election, basically to replace one of them.
“ I don’t think they are representing the people and you need somebody who is not afraid to speak out. At this point in time, as I said on the radio, that’s the threat,” he said.
Councillor Flynn also said he believes there is a market for what he would offer. “I don’t do things lightly. If I enter a general election, it won’t be to make up the numbers.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of campaigns against austerity measures and the public out there may not be turning up at local level in large numbers to protest but, by Jesus, they’re turning up when it comes to voting.
“What I’m saying is, there is a space in Clare, always has been a space, for left-wing radicalism. I wouldn’t be calling myself a one-issue candidate.
“I’d be calling myself somebody who would speak up for the people and the issues that affect the people,” he said.
Councillor Flynn went on to say that the imposition of a raft of new charges and taxes over recent years has been terribly unfair. “Water charges, property tax, lack of services – it’s a travesty what’s happening to people.
“There’s no shortage of material because God knows the Government are only interested in one thing and that’s extracting money out of the ordinary people. The people can no longer afford some of these measures.
“Local people are being hoodwinked into thinking that monies they are giving are going to get them increased services, when we know that they’re not. Okay, they’ll give out a few goodies in the budget, but we know there’s an election coming and they’re trying to appease some of the people.”
Councillor Flynn feels that his record as a councillor and his connections to different parts of Clare would stand him in good stead.
“I have a lot of support, at Clare County Council level, from my constituents. I never really had to push the boat out, I never had to put up a poster, I never really pushed it as hard as I could push it,” he said.
“Geographically speaking, I would expect, with my connections – I come from Miltown Malbay, my wife comes from North Clare, my grandmother came from Sixmilebridge – to get a spread of support. I know what the issues are that are affecting the people and, more and more now, the people realise that independents are not afraid to take on the issues,” Councillor Flynn concluded.