OUT IN FORCE The Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny, TD, cuts the tape to officially open John O’Mahony’s Mayo constituency office in D’Alton St, Claremorris.
O’Mahony off the mark
THE message went out loud and clear from D’Alton Street in Claremorris on Saturday afternoon from the leader of the Fine Gael party, Enda Kenny. The gloves are definitely off in relation to next year’s General Election, as he said it was time for the people of Mayo to realise that they ‘cannot look a gift horse in mouth’.
Deputy Kenny made it clear that Mayo is one of the constituencies where his party have targeted a gain and the majority of the large crowd at the opening of John O’Mahony’s constituency office believe the Kilmovee native is the man to secure that third seat.
One lane of traffic on D’Alton Street had to be closed as Deputy Kenny performed the official ribbon-cutting duties, with Mr O’Mahony stating he was ‘100% committed to winning a seat for the party’, adding that south and east Mayo are going to be extremely important for him.
The Mayo football manager knows time will most definitely be of the essence in the coming months so he has formed a Strategy Committee comprising of well-known people from right across the south and east Mayo areas to help with his campaign.
John Prenty from Ballyhaunis will be his Director of Elections while Claremorris’ Jimmy Nally has been chosen as Campaign Manager. The other members of the Strategy Committee are: Mike Connelly, Hollymount; JJ O’Hara, Foxford; Imelda Kelly, Swinford; John Henry, Charlestown; Paddy Colleran, Charlestown; Jimmy Walsh, Claremorris; Frank Hyland, Ballindine; Paul O’ Shea; Kiltimagh; Pat O’Connor, Swinford; Tom Garvey, Ballindine; Michael Sloyan, Bekan; John Kelly, Knock and PJ Hynes, Kilkelly. Local councillors Tom Connolly, John Cribbin, Eugene Lavin and Joe Mellett are also expected to be at the forefront of Mr O’Mahony’s campaign.
At Saturday’s afternoon opening, Mr O’Mahony stated he was ‘overwhelmed’ with the crowd in attendance.
“I am privileged to have been chosen to run for Fine Gael in this area and now that my constituency office is open to the public, my campaign is most definitely up and running. I have been hugely encouraged by the response I have received on the doorsteps of the county since I announced my participation four months ago and I am 100% committed to being elected next summer,” stated Mr O’Mahony.
“This office will be the organisational hub for everything to do with my campaign for the next six months and it is my earnest wish that this office will be where I will be meeting the people of Claremorris and all the surrounding towns over the next five years as a TD in Dáil Éireann.”
Deputy Kenny stated it was time for the people of Mayo to realise that they ‘cannot look a gift horse in a mouth’.
“The fight starts here and this is an opportunity for the first time ever to balance the regions of power. The people are the masters and 10 years of this Government is enough. I want to wish John and his family the very best of luck and I know he is very much looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Although Senator and MEP, Jim Higgins, lost his seat in the last General Election, it is clear that he is still a very powerful figure in South and East Mayo and he is unequivocally throwing his weight behind Mr O’Mahony’s challenge.
“Fine Gael have secured a great candidate for this area, a man of honesty and integrity. He is a man who doesn’t do things by half, 99% is not good enough for John O’Mahony, he gives everything 100%. He is a man of pedigree, a man of substance and everyone in South and East Mayo should recognise they have a candidate in the area who will make a magnificent TD.”
Deputy Michael Ring acted as Master of Ceremonies at the official opening and before introducing Mr O’Mahony, he made it clear that a huge amount of work was needed if Fine Gael wanted to increase their Dáil representation in the county.
“We have a great geographical spread and it is up to every candidate to win their own area and then we can starting talking about three seats for Fine Gael,” stated Deputy Ring.