DAN DOONER asked the various parties to assess how their campaigns have gone…
Frank Curley, Fine Gael Director of Elections
Fine Gael Director of Elections, Frank Curley said he is very happy with how the party’s campaign has gone in Co. Roscommon.
“We are very confident that we have done everything we could have done in this campaign. We ran six excellent candidates whom I would expect to be elected. They have been well received on the doors and I think it has been a good campaign overall,” he said.
Mr. Curley said Fine Gael’s election expectations remained very high in County Roscommon.
“We have six excellent candidates so the expectation is to get six elected,” he said.
Mr. Curley did however have one complaint when it came to the sheer size of the electoral areas candidates were expected to cover.
“The areas are so large that it’s almost impossible to cover all of them. For example, from where I am near the bridge at Lanesboro to where (candidate) Gerry Coffey is, it’s 21 miles, so it’s difficult to cover that much ground and to be effective. Having said that, that hasn’t stopped us from going all out to get our people elected,” he said.
P. Burke, Roscommon Fianna Fáil Chairman
Fianna Fáil Comhairle Dáil Ceantair Chairman, P. Burke, is feeling positive ahead of tomorrow’s (Friday) local election vote in Co. Roscommon.
“We have nine candidates overall with three in each local electoral area. I would say that it has been a very, very good campaign, a lively campaign overall.
“We have first-timers in two of the electoral areas, and we also have Aidan Sampey, who wasn’t elected last time. All candidates have had very good campaigns. All of them have got out there in the last few weeks. The feedback we’re getting from each of the directors (of elections) is that each candidate has worked very hard,” he said.
Having received feedback from each of the three local electoral areas in Co. Roscommon, Mr. Burke said he would be “surprised” if Fianna Fáil didn’t win six seats in Friday’s election.
“We have more candidates than any other party and therefore we will be going out to maximise our vote…while you would hope to get nine, realistically you aren’t going to get nine. There’s a lot of competition out there but I would be surprised if we didn’t get six. That’s my feeling anyway, but you could have one or two more. It is hard to call it though because there are going to be twos and threes and in particular areas it could be tight.
“All candidates have tried really hard and we have a great chance of maximising our vote,” he concluded.
Claire Kerrane, Sinn Féin spokesperson
Sinn Féin spokesperson Claire Kerrane was pleased with her party’s campaign ahead of this Friday’s Local Elections. The party is running three candidates in Co. Roscommon including outgoing councillor Michael Mulligan and Joe Harney in the Athlone electoral area and Seamus O’Brien in the Roscommon area.
“We feel we ran a very strong, positive campaign. Our objective at the beginning of the campaign was to knock on as many doors and get to talk to as many people as possible and we feel we did that.
“Joe Harney had a stellar performance as a first-time candidate in the Athlone electoral area as did Seamus O’Brien in the Roscommon LEA. We are also confident of re-electing Michael Mulligan, this is his fourth election and his record speaks for itself. We are very confident of retaining that seat. We’d be confident of getting three seats,” she said.
Ms. Kerrane said the majority of issues raised on the doors of Roscommon revolved around investment in rural areas when it came to jobs, infrastructure, broadband and cost of living. She added that while most candidates in this year’s local elections raised the need for more investment, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voted against Sinn Féin’s Rural Equality Bill after the last local elections.
“Politics don’t happen in a vacuum, these people need to be held to account. We came across so many people who get up early and are at work and who have nothing left at the end of the month. The carbon tax, for example, is just another charge hitting ordinary families and workers who work for everything and get nothing,” she said.
One of the issues raised in Boyle was wheelchair accessibility, according to Claire Kerrane.
“We met three people who can’t go into town from their homes in Boyle because they can’t get off the kerbs in some estates. Michael Mulligan has done good work in this regard in Ballaghaderreen and we’ll be looking to ensure that all these towns are made wheelchair-friendly,” she said.