MICHAEL ‘Malty’ McDonagh insists that Fianna Fáil in Clare must call a selection convention “immediately” in order to help the party win two seats in the forthcoming general election.
He also confirmed that he will be seeking solely a Fianna Fáil nomination and does not now intend standing as an Independent if he is not on the Fianna Fáil ticket.
“I believe that the Fianna Fáil convention should be held at the earliest possible date so that we can get ready to visit every house in this county and bring the message that we’re going to be there to work for the people. I think it should be held in a matter of weeks. I’m ready. I will talk to all the Fianna Fáil delegates. I’ve no problem in doing that. I want Fianna Fáil to get ready for a general election in Clare.
“My father, Malty McDonagh in Miltown, was a fierce Fianna Fáil activist all his life and so was my uncle, Michael in Ennistymon. Their first cousin was Sylvie Barrett so the background is a fierce republican background,” the retired detective garda explained.
The Clare GAA county board chairman accepted that people may still lack confidence in the party in light of the nation’s economic collapse under the last Fianna Fáil-led government.
“I know that a lot of my own personal friends have told me that they still doubt Fianna Fáil but I believe that if I can get 12 months on the road, I will be able to reassure people that they will have a new type of representation in Clare. Representation that is going to be people orientated and it’s not going to be for the big bankers or anything else like that. It’s going to be orientated towards the ordinary working people. The new poor in this county now are the working people. They are the people that have to be protected and looked after,” he stated.
“I believe that Fianna Fáil has been, in the past, a party for the people of this country. We had a major problem with the banking crisis and everything but I think that Fianna Fáil can come back and work for the people.
“I’m coming from an area in North and West Clare, which I believe badly needs representation in Dáil Éireann and I believe that I’m the man to do that. I firmly believe that we should have a three candidate strategy in order to win two seats. For the past week, I have been inundated with people wishing me well and who hope that I do go forward. They know that I am a worker. If I go in, I will go to the ends of the earth to represent the people of this county. Coming from West Clare, we have been starved there over the last number of years. It’s time now that we get the ball back in the park and I will contest the Fianna Fáil nomination,” he reiterated.
McDonagh is adamant that the party must field three candidates if they hope to deliver two seats in the next election.
“If I get on the ticket, I will need a year to go into every house and bring my message across to the people of County Clare. I believe that I will do that in a successful manner and I will help the party to win the two seats,” he maintained.
With reference to current issues, including the upcoming referendum on gay marriage, Michael McDonagh said that he would be voting ‘yes’.
“I have many friends that are gay. They are very close friends of mine and I believe that they deserve their happiness and I hope that this is passed,” he replied.
He said that amongst the issues he will be campaigning on are farming, fishing, ongoing flooding concerns, emigration, tourism and the further development of ESB Moneypoint. He also stressed that he is implacably opposed to the sale of Aer Lingus.
“I won’t be afraid of controversy and I will not be afraid to stand up for the people of Clare,” McDonagh vowed.
By Peter O’Connell