Hardliner Bobby – A Man on a Dáil Mission ?

Political Pie: Danny Healy Rae, TD with Cllr. Bobby O'Connell patroling their political territory at the Indoor Market at Castleisland Community Centre on Friday night. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Political Pie: Danny Healy Rae, TD with Cllr. Bobby O’Connell patroling their political territory at the Indoor Market at Castleisland Community Centre on Friday night. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Even to the casual observer in these parts it appears that the ubiquity so associated with the Healy Raes is contagious after all. Cllr. Bobby O’Connell is after catching it now.

The semi-retired, Castleisland publican – who’s making a brief return to the pumps for the duration of the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival and the Castleisland Coursing Festival – has been almost matching the great Kilgarvan dynasty in recent weeks and months since he turned the key in the door of The Poet’s Inn at the end of the summer.

Working the Crowd

On Friday night alone he was at Kerry Airport for the Build4Life / Run the Runway fundraiser and while not blatantly ‘working the crowd’ he certainly did get around the considerable turnout in the reception area before the event.

Half an hour later, just as Danny Healy Rae, TD was heading out of Castleisland Community Centre from the Indoor Market with a rhubarb and apple tart, in walked Cllr. O’Connell and the two men greeted each other as old friends should.

Build4Life/Run the Runway 5K at Kerry Airport 7-10-2016
Cllr. Bobby O’Connell (centre) with Colm Nix (left) and Francie Brosnan, Castleisland at Kerry Airport before the Build4Life/Run the Runway 5K fundraiser on Friday night. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Kerry Political Pie

As you’ll see they discussed the tart in Danny’s hand and it struck me there and then that Bobby was eyeing up a slice of the Kerry political pie.

To tell you the truth I thought I’d meet him below at Paddy Reilly’s 60th birthday celebrations at The Half Barrel on Saturday night.

Don’t tell me Cllr. Bobby is not starting a run which could land him a nomination and his name beside his Fine Gael friend, Brendan Griffin, TD whenever we go to elect a government again – whenever ?

With Jimmy Deenihan carving out several roles for himself since his defeat last February it is unlikely that he’ll want to go back into the fray for another tilt.

Bring in Debt Enforcers

RTÉ reporter Barry Lenihan spoke to O’Connell on Drivetime earlier this evening and he asked him about Irish Water’s proposals to ‘bring in the heavies’ or debt enforcers.

Not noted as a man to give away too much, Cllr. O’Connell opened up and took a hard line on the matter as he told Lenihan that Irish Water should employ debt collection agencies and that they had every right to do so.

O’Connell said that there were many people who could not pay and there would be a need to look at their cases. He also said that there were people who could well afford to pay and wouldn’t.

Go to the Country

He also said that Fine Gael is far too compliant and lenient with the carry on of Fianna Fáil in the current arrangement and that they should pull out of government and go to the country as soon as possible.

All things considered, does that sound like a man who’s mad for road or what?

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