Fís Nua pair sat­is­fied to have name out there

Bray People - - ELECTION 2011 - MYLES BUCHANAN

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?’

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