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Tag Archives: Michael McNamara

McNamara attacks ‘cynical’ FF and FG coalition talks

A SCATHING attack has been launched on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil by Clare’s Independent TD, who is accusing them of using Coronavirus concerns as a cover for a potential coalition government. Senior figures in both parties have this week stepped up talks on government formation, with care-taker Taoiseach Leo Varadkar citing “a dramatic change in context” because of Covid 19. Deputy Michael McNamara is one of a number of deputies, including Fianna Fáil’s own Éamon Ó Cuiv, who has called instead for a type of grand coalition involving most or all of the major parties, with a view to addressing the public health emergency. “I would be prepared to support a national coalition government which might be in place for a limited period, in order to address the threat posed by Coronavirus. That doesn’t look likely, unfortunately. What we have instead is a rather cynical move the FF and FG to use the fact that this horrible virus is …

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Tectonic plates shifted as SF roared to the top in Clare

NOT so long ago general elections were predictable, both in Clare and in Ireland generally, but after last weekend there is a sense that voters might do just about anything. In Clare this was certainly the most dramatic result for many decades, with neither Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael having a candidate who hit the quota, as Sinn Féin topped the poll, a situation that was unthinkable almost until the moment it happened. There was widespread surprise in the Falls Hotel on Sunday morning as the tallies were being compiled and Violet Anne Wynne, an almost totally unknown quantity, was taking in more number ones than any one else. Many people around the count centre were saying the same thing; they knew that Sinn Féin were going to do well nationally, but just couldn’t see it happening in Clare. But it was happening. As recently as 2007 Fianna Fáil were campaigning on a platform of stability. It genuinely resonated with …

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Dust Settles After Political Storm at Clare General Election Count

ALL roads led to Ennistymon last Sunday morning as the counting of just over 60,000 Clare ballots began. Storm Ciara tore along the western seaboard, leaving sections of the N85 barely passable. As political pilgrims queued to cross flood waters south of the Inagh village, the brother of outgoing TD Timmy Dooley came quietly to the rescue. Pat Dooley donned his wellies to check the depth of the water, then led a number of other drivers through. Gales and floods ultimately did little to deter the capacity crowd that poured into The Falls Hotel to witness a drama few could have anticipated. As the ballot boxes were opened, the threads of a new political narrative emerged. Sinn Féin was on course to have a Clare TD for the first time since 1922. It took more than twelve hours, however, to confirm the dominance of newcomer Violet-Anne Wynne. Anticipation of the first count was at fever pitch by 9.10pm. Families and …

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Mart goers support for McNamara, cool on Greens & FG

POLITICALLY engaged and numerous throughout the county, the votes of farmers and their families play an important role in every election in Clare. The last year has seen widespread disillusionment in farming, memorably expressed by the beef protests. Speaking to farmers at Ennis Mart on Tuesday it was clear that the dissatisfaction has not abated and none of those who spoke to The Clare Champion were praising Fine Gael’s record on agriculture. Many said they will be voting for East Clare farmer Michael McNamara who was a prominent supporter of last year’s protests. Several others made it clear that they wouldn’t countenance giving any preference to the Green Party whose policies they feel are very clearly against farmers’ interests. One West Clare couple said that farmers are just about able to continue as it is. “People will survive, but that’s all they can do. There’s very little investment in farming other than with grant approval and things like that,” said …

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What way will former Harty voters go?

THE absence of Dr Michael Harty from the race poses an interesting question for those trying to read the tea leaves ahead of Clare going to the polls. In 2016, Dr Harty took 8,629 first preferences, 15% of the overall vote, a fantastic performance for a first-time candidate after a relatively short campaign, and he won the second seat. From Kilmihil and standing on the No Doctor No Village platform, it might have been expected that he would take his support from West Clare but people from different parts of the county also got behind him. For instance, tallies show that he took 230 votes from the boxes at the Ennis Town Council offices, about as urban as Clare gets, and a place where doctors are very accessible to voters. He took 76 first preferences from boxes at Quin National School, while tallies at Toonagh National School show he took 95 first preferences, more than any other candidate. Just up …

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Former Clare TD holding back cattle in support of protests

FARMER and former TD Michael McNamara is supportive of the Beef Plan protests and is holding back his own cattle. “I have cattle that are fit to kill and I’m not moving them. I’m going to hold them until this strike is over, one way or another. Whether they are under 30 months or over 30 months, I’m going to hold them,” he said. He expects things could become even more tense at the front lines of the protest, as he predicts that the “big companies will do everything they can to break the strike”. Mr McNamara slammed the Competition Authority for not looking closely at what is happening in the beef industry. “The only investigation the Competition Authority in Ireland has carried out in relation to price fixing was that they raided the IFA offices. The Competition Authority in Ireland is a joke and I’m happy to be on the record to say they are a joke. They’re like …

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Former TD refused digital audio recording of evidence

A judge has refused an application by former Labour TD Michael McNamara for a Digital Audio Recording (DAR) of the evidence in his dangerous driving case. At Ennis District Court today (Wednesday), Judge Patrick Durcan refused Mr McNamara’s application for the DAR of the day’s evidence in the case, as the 43 year-old prepares an appeal against his dangerous driving conviction to the circuit court. The conviction, which carries an automatic two year driving ban, is in respect of Mr McNamara’s driving at Tobernagath, Scariff on December 10, 2016. Mr McNamara can continue to drive pending his appeal being heard. In court on Wednesday, the solicitor for Mr McNamara said that the application was being made to obtain the DAR to help deal with shortcomings in the prosecution case against him. The application was opposed by the gardaí with Inspector Tom Kennedy telling Judge Durcan: “That is not what the DAR was designed for.” Insp Kennedy said that Mr McNamara …

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Labour Party denies blocking McNamara’s Seanad bid

WHILE Michael McNamara claimed last week that the Labour Party leadership went out of its way to stop him running for election to the Seanad, the party has denied anything underhand has happened. Also, Seamus Ryan, who served as director of elections for Labour in Clare, has defended the party, saying it is no longer in a strong enough position to be putting forward multiple candidates. In a post on social media last week, Mr McNamara wrote, “If there was a democratic contest for the party nomination on the Agricultural Panel, I think I’d have won. So did the party leadership, so there was no contest.” Also, in an interview last week, Mr McNamara, referring to senior figures in the party, said, “It’s quite clear that not alone did I not have their backing but they went out of their way to prevent me from running”. He also claimed that he was being paid back for not being what he …

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