herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Can Lucinda and Co push their man over the finish line?

Lucinda Creighton
Lucinda Creighton

FRIDAY'S by-election will be watched closely by the Dail's Reform Alliance who have actively canvassed for the son of a former Fine Gael TD.

Independent councillor Ronan McMahon has secured the support of TDs including Lucinda Creighton (right), Billy Timmins and senators Feargal Quinn and Fidelma Healy Eames.

Mr McMahon was criticised during May's local elections after he described himself on his election posters and literature as an Independent Fine Gael candidate.

BOOSTED

But he told the Herald that securing the backing of the Reform Alliance has boosted his campaign.

"It shows that I have credibility for TDs like those in the Reform Alliance to be supporting me," he said while canvassing in Firhouse.

The move represents the first time that the Reform Alliance has backed a candidate in a Dail election.

Mr McMahon is likely to align himself with the de facto party if he wins this week's by-election.

But the son of former Fine Gael deputy Larry McMahon admits he is facing an uphill battle.

"My only fear that I have on Friday is that they won't come out to vote, and if they don't come out to vote it's Cathal King's seat," he said.

Mr McMahon was critical of Brian Hayes, accusing the former junior minister of showing a lack of presence in the constituency.

"They've shot themselves in the foot. They nearly got two seats last time. But they forgot about the constituency when they got elected," he said.

"Whether Brian had his eyes on other things, his eyes on Europe, I don't know, but people feel ignored.

"'Brian has gone off to Europe, he does nothing for us anyway', they say."

Mr McMahon tells voters he "broke away" from FG and claims there is a huge anti-party sentiment, with the exception of Sinn Fein.

"The Independents are fresh, they are outspoken and they feel they can represent the people when the party peopled can't," he said.

"The cronyism comes up on the doorsteps. It's just wrong and is going on at local level as well."

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