I won’t fight another day, says Fitzgerald
IT'S THE END OF THE ROAD for Fianna Fáil's Pat Fitzgerald nationally after he failed to win a seat in Wicklow at the weekend.
Despite the almost nationwide obliteration of Fianna Fáil, there were some who felt that Pat might defy the Fianna Fáil critics to be in with the chance of taking the final seat on the basis of his popularity, particularly in South Wicklow.
However, it was clear from the get-go that the Arklow man wasn't in the mix for a seat but transfers put him three votes ahead of running mate, outgoing Minister Dick Roche, who called for a recount on Monday evening believing that if things went his way he could be in the final shake-up. Pat Fitz won the recount and he remained in the race until the end of count 17 becoming the second last candidate to be eliminated, but the lack of transfers never saw him making a viable bid for the final seat.
The first count saw Pat getting 3,574 votes and at the end of the 13th count, just before the recount was called, he had a total of 4,138 votes. Following the recount he had a first preference vote of 3,576.
‘I am very relaxed about it all really. I am disappointed obviously because I put in a huge effort. A lot of the votes in Arklow didn't stay with Arklow candidates either.'
With his vote down significantly on his 2007 first preference vote of 5,029, Pat said he won't be contesting a general election again.
‘ There won't be another day for me. I expected a higher vote from the feedback on the door. I wasn't getting any of the party negativity but at the end of the day there was a wind behind Fine Gael and Labour.
‘I want to thank all the people who voted for me because I think it was a personal vote I got rather than specifically a party vote.’
On Monday afternoon, Pat was sitting surrounded by friends and family in the lobby of the Shoreline Leisure Centre.
He said he would not have called for a recount had he been in Minister Roche's position.
‘Before when it seemed I was behind I had made it clear that I wouldn't be looking for a recount but I have to respect his (Roche's) decision and he feels he has a chance. It is not the avenue I would have taken.
‘I wasn't party to his decision but I was aware of it before it was announced.'
He also slammed the way he was treated by the Fianna Fáil legal team who arrived in Shoreline on Monday.
‘Obviously the legal team are not with me. I seem to be on my own on an island as far as the legal team are concerned.
‘Nobody came near me so whose interest are they looking after?'
Councillor Pat Fitzgerald watches the General Election results unfold.