With the 2019 Local and European Elections fast approaching, parties are finalising their candidates to fight those elections and, inevitably now, the Healy Raes are in the hunt here.
Following on from Boundary Commissions most recent report, it has put forward the recommendation that for the upcoming 2019 Local Elections there will be now six constituencies in Kerry, an increase from four in 2014.
Locally and Nationally
“The Healy-Rae’s have always strived to provide a full political service to the people of Kerry both locally and nationally, in keeping with this we will be fielding additional candidates in the upcoming local elections,” said Michael Healy Rae by way of introducing his son, Jackie Healy Rae to the voters of the Castleisland area.
One of the new, first time candidates running in this area will be Jackie Healy-Rae Junior, son of current TD Michael Healy-Rae.
Jackie is a 23 year old parliamentary assistant working with his father with almost five years now. “We believe that Jackie is the ideal candidate to fight for a seat in the new four seat Castleisland constituency,” said his father.
“The Castleisland area which includes areas in East Kerry that have been represented by a Healy-Rae since 1973, and also includes new areas such as Ballymacelligott, Brosna and Knocknagashel which we are keen to provide more local representation to since they became part of the new Dáil constituency in 2016.
Abandoning the People
“This is why we believe is extremely important to field a candidate in this area as not to do so would almost be like we were abandoning the people that we have represented for so long and also not to give the people of the new area an opportunity to have a more robust local representation from the Healy-Rae’s,” said Michael.
Honour and Privilege
On being put forward as a candidate by his family, Jackie feels it’s a huge honour and a privilege. “To have the opportunity to serve where my grandfather, father, uncle and now where both my cousins serve, it really would be huge.
“But I can’t really even think about that, there is a long road ahead of me and the people will have their say and it is ultimately their decision. So I won’t even dare to dream about it, but obviously it would be a massive achievement,” said the new candidate.
Interesting and Surprising
Healy Rae Junior will join the likes of locals: Cllr. Bobby O’Connell and Cllr. Pat McCarthy (FG); Kate McSweeney, Sinn Féin; Charlie Farrelly, Independent; Cllr. Tom McEllistrim and Fionnán Fitzgerald, Fianna Fáil with a still possible candidate in former councillor and TD, Tom Fleming, Independent.
There are all kinds of permutations being put forward as to the final outcome.
But it’s a bit like trying to forecast the result of the Aintree Grand National months in advance and that’s a task best done when all the fences are cleared.
It will be an interesting and surprising election – in the opinions of many – even before the field is fully declared.
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