THERE is no doubt about it, when a Flynn speaks the Mayo press hang on every word. For years, Padraig Flynn’s eloquence, even when faced with some hard questions, never flinched and the same can be said of his daughter Beverley who has entered the Election 2007 race with gusto over the last ten days.
The licence for Castlebar Community Radio, CRC FM, limits its coverage to a 20-mile radius around the county town but when Beverley was a guest on the station’s popular political programme, Saturday Forum, the weekend before last, her words echoed all over the county. So much so that all three estabhlished local newspapers carried a story, albeit conflicting ones, on the front page of their midweek editions.
Our reporter Joan Geraghty states Beverley was in ‘flying form’ when she sat down to interview her in our third instalment of candidate interviews this week. She feels more comfortable going into this election than ever before and on the face of it that would seem strange when you consider her estrangement from Fianna Fáil, the party in which her family history is so steeped.
Without the backing of ‘the machine’, it would be easy to think that Beverley would struggle but as she also states in our interview, without the backing of the party she is unrestricted in her canvassing. There is no sitting down with a director of elections and carving up the constituency. The open road is hers, from Shrule to Belmullet.
Of course, there is the small matter of her outstanding costs issue with RTÉ hanging over her. She claims this is ‘a private matter and doesn’t involve anyone else’, which is true but it does look likely that all will be settled by May at the very least.
Beverley also makes no secret of the fact that she gets on ‘very well politically’ with Enda Kenny and she feels the Fine Gael leader would ‘grow’ into the office of Taoiseach very well.
At the back of her admiration for Enda, she must feel a small bit of jealousy as his career continues on an upward curve. She has never made a secret of the fact that she has always been politically ambitious. She probably envisaged herself as leadership material in her early political life. Like father, like daughter one could say.
But for now her ambitions are a little more run of the mill. Going back to Dáil Éireann in June is her only goal at present. If she can secure her seat then she can sit back and watch the rest of the pieces of the jigsaw fall into place.
Bertie may come calling? Or maybe Mayo compatriots Enda and Pat will? Or maybe Beverley will just have to plough a lone furrow in the 30th Dáil. Whatever the scenario, you can be guaranteed the county will be watching and listening with interest. Bev has a big role to play in Election 2007.