I won’t fight an­other day, says Fitzger­ald

Bray People - - ELECTION 2011 - ES­THER HAY­DEN

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.

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