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Tag Archives: politics

Breen retiring from politics

EVEN as it was apparent that he was going to lose his seat, Pat Breen cut a relaxed figure at the General Election count centre and this week he announced that he will not be returning to political life in any guise. The Senate is very often the next target for those who don’t get to the Dáil but the Ballynacally man said it’s not for him. “There was huge pressure on me to run for the Senate from party members in Clare and from colleagues but I kind of made my mind up. “Here I am, at this stage of my life and if I don’t do something different now, I’ll never do it. I want to do something different, rather than stay in a political career. I’ve served 20 years in politics, 18 years in the Dáil, and I’ve left my mark on the county. I think it was Barack Obama who said once, ‘Never fear the future, …

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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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Clare electorate up by over 8,000

FOUR years on from the last general election, the Clare constituency has almost 10% more voters than it did in 2016. This time there are 91,120 people registered to vote, up from 82,965 last time. It is a very sharp increase, but besides a growing population, the redrawing of the electoral boundaries with Limerick has seen another 4,488 voters come into the constituency. The county is divided into five municipal districts for local government purposes. On Saturday there will be 40 ballot boxes in the Ennis Municipal District, 35 in the Shannon Municipal District, 32 in the Killaloe Municipal District, 43 in the Kilrush Municipal District and 29 in the Ennistymon Municipal District. The redrawing of the county’s borders helps Fianna Fáil’s Cathal Crowe, the Meelick man now having significantly more people in his local area who can vote for him. The feeling is that he will have enough votes to comfortably take a seat in his first general election. …

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“They don’t have any empathy with rural Ireland”-Harty on FG leadership

ON Monday, Dr Michael Harty announced that he is not looking to be re-elected to the Dáil and in an interview with The Clare Champion, he said the outgoing Government has failed rural Ireland, while the administration didn’t accept obvious solutions to major problems facing the country. Dr Harty also revealed that he had turned down invitations to stand for established parties in the General Election. “Obviously, the economy has recovered and that brings benefits to everybody. But I think there is still a huge dissatisfaction within rural Ireland that they are being left behind, that services are still being withdrawn to rural Ireland,” he commented. As it stands now, he feels that the likes of Leo Varadkar, Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy do not understand the needs of a county like Clare. “I think that the Government is urban-orientated. We have the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Health, the Minister for Housing, who are all urban-based …

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Youth thinking about General Election

With General Election 2016 polling day fast approaching, Thinkhouse, the youth communications agency, has published highlights of an in-depth study around ‘Youth + Politics’ in Ireland today. The research was conducted by The Youth Lab, Thinkhouse’s insights and trends division, and it reveals the views, attitudes and influential factors that will shape how today’s 18-35 year olds respond to the forthcoming election. Following are some of the key findings: Young people more active than ever On the back of a successful Marriage Equality Referendum campaign last year, young voters are more engaged than ever. 92% of those surveyed are registered to vote, with 83% saying they plan to vote in the upcoming election on 26th February. This projection would be a huge increase on the 70% turnout figures for the 2011 General Election. Lack of true leadership in political parties When asked which of the party leaders they liked best, the vast majority (45%) reported that they did ‘not like …

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Wallace and Daly appear at Ennis District Court

WEAPONS have been routinely carried through Shannon by the US military, it was claimed at Ennis District Court on Tuesday, during a hearing into a case against TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. During evidence, Irish Times security analyst, Tom Clonan played a recording taken from a plane at Shannon, which advised soldiers to leave their weapons on board. Also, a former Irish army officer warned that missiles that were brought through the airport on one occasion could have resulted in it being blown up, along with much of the adjacent Shannon Industrial Estate. Mr Wallace, 59, of Clontarf Road, Dublin 3, and Ms Daly, 46, of Elmwood Drive, Swords, Dublin, are accused of climbing a perimeter fence at Shannon Airport and entering a part of the airport to which they were not permitted on July 22 of last year, contrary to the Airport Bylaws of 1994. While the case is being contested, neither have denied that they entered restricted …

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O’Malley has plenty to say in autobiography

A MINISTER for Justice who slept with a gun under his pillow, the very nemesis of Charles Haughey and the founder of a political party that exercised influence way beyond its size throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Des O’Malley wasn’t struggling for material for his book Conduct Unbecoming: A Memoir. Much of O’Malley’s career was defined by his enmity with a certain former taoiseach, an era that was revisited in the recent RTÉ mini-series, Haughey. O’Malley feels it was a relatively fair exploration of the time. “You have to take it as a drama, rather than a factual documentary, but a great deal of it is factual. It is of course based on fact but, for dramatic purposes, certain things are written into it and the chronology of some of the things changes, they happened in a different order. But I thought it was a fair enough representation of the atmosphere at the time, the atmosphere of fear and intimidation.” …

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Clare senator to quit FG if Aer Lingus share sold

ALREADY contentious, Shannon based Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has turned up the political heat regarding the potential sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus, as he has vowed to resign the party whip if the Government does sell to IAG. He made his comments after IAG CEO Willie Walsh addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. Mr Walsh told the Committee that in the event of an IAG takeover, Shannon would get a five-year guarantee of Heathrow connectivity. However, after being quizzed by Senator Mulcahy, he acknowledged that he was not offering any guarantees around the preservation of the Aer Lingus services between Shannon and the US. While Mr Walsh did say that transatlantic services from Shannon have “huge potential” and that the numbers travelling on them are likely to increase in the summertime, this didn’t cut much ice with Senator Mulcahy. In a statement released shortly after the Committee sitting he said, “I cannot support …

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