With just a five month run in now to the May 2019 European and local elections it’s make-your-mind-up time for candidates and indeed coming up to that for the voters.
Most Interesting in Years
May’s local elections will be the most interesting here for years in that Castleisland has its own four-seater area. It is also moving away from its association with Killarney Municipal District to reafirm its links to the Tralee Municipal District.
A raft of local candidates will be joined on the ballot papers by the Kilgarvan based, first timer Jackie Healy Rae Junior – who is facing more than an electoral contest this year.
Promise of Intrigue
The promise of intrigue, at least, is heightened by the fact that all the surrounding parishes are part of the new area and entitled to vote.
The candidates will have time to mount their campaigns and long hours of daylight will facilitate the more traditional type of ‘ground war’ canvassing.
Role of Social Media
Social Media will also play a huge role in this election and those who handle the technology best will fancy their chances of securing a seat on Kerry County Council for community or party on election day on Friday May 24th.
Charlie Farrelly, who made his intentions to run known months ago, took to Facebook to formally announced his candidature on Wednesday evening.
In a short message, the well known community activist wrote:
It is with great pleasure that I wish to formally announce that I will be contesting the Kerry County Council Local Elections for the new Castleisland Electoral Area in May of this year.
I know that to win one of the four seats will take a monumental effort on my behalf, but I hope that with the support of the general public stretching from Castleisland, Cordal, Brosna, Knocknagoshel, Ballymacelligot, Scartaglen, Firies, Ballyhar and onto Gneeveguilla and the areas in between.
I have a realistic chance of achieving my goal. As a community activist I would hope that my efforts in the past will have benefited my local community and I would ask ye all to please share this post with all your friends and family and help launch my Media Election Campaign.”
The Field to Date
Joining Charlie Farrelly – an Independent – on the ballot paper in the Castleisland area will be: Jackie Healy Rae Junior – who was out on the canvass in Cordal yesterday in spite of some negative press – or maybe because of it. Allegations in a national newspaper earlier this week focused on assault charges – charges which he and his brother and another local man deny and intend to contest in court later this year.
Kate McSweeney will represent Sinn Féin; Cllr. Bobby O’Connell and Cllr. Pat McCarthy, Fine Gael; Cllr. Tom McEllistrim and Fionnán Fitzgerald, Fianna Fáil.
Former councillor and TD, Tom Fleming, (Independent) is keeping his options wide open for the time being and will make his decision known well before the declarations deadlines fall in April – he confirmed this morning.
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