LONGTIME Fianna Fáil Cllr Margaret Adams has dramatically told The Mayo News that it may be time for a new leader. Speaking in the aftermath of her election to the county council, where Fine Gael’s Peter Flynn topped the poll in the Westport electoral area, Cllr Adams warned that her party will rise to prominence again.
“I’ve increased my county council vote on the last time, even with the backlash. I put it down to hard work and being a fulltime a councillor. It’s certainly not a good day for Fianna Fáil,” said Margaret Adams.
When questioned about the possibility of an early General Election, she remarked: “While I’m not too sure it will lead to a General Election or not, there may be a change of leader. But Fianna Fail will come back from this. We’re very good under pressure.”
Meanwhile, poll topper and first time county councillor, Peter Flynn was still in a state of shock in the Traveller’s Friend Ruby Room count centre at lunchtime on Sunday. Throughout the campaign he had expressed concerns about the numeric limitations of his potential urban area vote.
“I never dreamt I would top the poll,” said Peter Flynn. “We just had a fantastic team and worked really well. I know there was a Fine Gael swing but honestly we had eight great candidates in Westport urban and the area. And we’re all elected now.”
He observed to The Mayo News that such a resounding affirmation meant that the Fine Gael councillors must now ‘set the standards and the blueprint for the future’ and fulfill their promises to the electorate.
“Clearly in Mayo we have been missing out on having people at the top tables for the last few years. Thats’ clear from our lack of infrastructure. Mayo has been forgotten since Padraig Flynn was a minister,” continued Peter Flynn.
“Without a shadow of doubt we need a General Election . It would make a hell of a lot more sense than TDs taking the Summer off for holidays,” he added.
Popular entertainer, Johnny O’Malley was quick to concede that he may have benefited in the general Newport area from retired Fianna Fáil Cllr Frank Chambers’ voting base.
“I’m delighted I held on to my votes from the last time and actually increased them in some areas,” said Johnny O’Malley.
“It’s quite obvious, from what people were saying on the doorsteps , that the performance of the Government and a swing from Fianna Fáil was why we did so well. Of course, we had good candidates too who represented the different backgrounds of their voters very well,” said Johnny O’Malley.
Meanwhile the last candidate to be elected for the area, Fine Gael’s Austin Frances O’Malley was lifted shoulder-high at 2.40pm on Sunday afternoon, when there was a huge roar from his campaign workers.
Speaking before the three-strong Fine Gael team gathered for a series of photographs, the Louisburgh farmer was immediately generous in his praise of defeated candidate, Fianna Fáil’s, Caroline Navin.
“I want to say that my neighbour, Caroline Navin put in a great fight for the times that are in it. Fair play to her. She ran a decent and good campaign,” said Austin O’Malley.
Thanking all who voted for him, he also observed: “Westport is the tidiest town in ireland and we have now tidied everything up in local politics.”