Fís Nua pair satisfied to have name out there
BOTH OF WICKLOW’S Fís Nua candidates maintain that this election was all about getting the name of recently formed party out into the public domain.
Cllr. Pat Kavanagh and Gerry Kinsella feel the next election, General or Local, will act as a better gauge of where the party stands as by that stage the fledgling organisation should be more firmly established.
‘I am pleased at how both I and Gerry did. We have put the word out there about Fis Nua and our membership has already increased since we started the campaign trail. This election was really all about establishing the name. Now it’s onwards and upwards for the party,’ says Cllr. Kavanagh, who is also a sitting Wicklow town councillor.
She was eliminated on the 8th count with 322 votes, while Mr. Kinsella went out on the next count with 359 votes.
Cllr. Kavanagh was elected to Wicklow Town Council in 2009 as a Green Party member, when she also ran what turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt at landing a County Council seat. However, she left the Greens due to her opposition to NAMA and the bank bailouts.
Overall, she feels Independent candidates nationally didn’t end up faring as well as she had hoped.
‘ I’m disappointed for all the independents. Once the elections was called there wasn’t a whole lot of time to organise things, especially when you didn’t have an established party machine behind you. The radical change people were calling for on the doorsteps never materialised. In the end people decided to vote Fine Gael and play it safe. But we did get our message across and now Fís Nua is close to being a household name.’
For Mr. Kinsella it was his first time running an election campaign.
‘ You have to remember the party was only formed three days before the election was called. I feel, under the circumstance, we did exceptionally well. It was great advertising for the party.’
Neither the party logo nor a photograph of Mr. Kinsella actually appeared on the ballot paper despite the fact both were provided in plenty of time to actually feature.
While Mr. Kinsella insists he wasn’t angered by the omissions, he does keenly await an explanation.
‘ Some people found the ballot paper confusing because there was just a blank space where our logo should have been. It should have at least said Non-Party. People were ticking where the logo should have been by mistake, though I believe those votes were allowed through for the count.
‘A good deal of people told me they couldn’t find me on the ballot paper because my photograph wasn’t on it. I’m not saying it would have made a massive difference vote-wise but I don’t feel I was on the same playing field as the other candidates. I’d just like to know the reason why my picture didn’t appear?’