Cork – Mixed results for FG

I attended the majority of the count for the 6 city wards in Cork on Saturday evening and night. The Fine Gael result on the south side was excellent! With us gaining a seat in the South East ward of the city. Unfortunately while the Fine Gael vote was up on the Northside aswell, Joe O’Callaghan lost the seat in the North West which was previously held by Colm Burke.

North West went from a 5 seater to a 4 seater so it was going to be a tough battle for all involved. While Joe did poll in 4th with 805 votes (down from 884 in 04) he was beaten in the last count by Tony Fitzgerald of Fianna Fail on the last count thanks to transfers from his running mate John Sheehan.

The Workers Party gained their first seat on Cork City Council. They won a seat in the North East of the City. The North East count was very interesting as on the 1st count 3 candidates were within a wisker of the quota, which was 1096. They were John Kelleher (Lab -1024), Tim Brosnan (FF – 1019) and Dara Murphy (FG – 1011).

In North Central Patricia Gosch held the seat despite the FG vote been down 2% in the ward. Something needs to be done on the northside of Cork to get FG up where it should be.

The Southside was a different matter. In Cork South East  Des Cahill a first time FG candidate and Laura McGonigle were elected on the first count alongside Labours Dennis O’Flynn. This was a fantastic results which helped to bring Jim Corr in also meaning the Fine Gael gained a seat in the ward.

In South West John Buttimer topped the poll with over 2000 votes. He was nearly the highest vote getter in the city, but he was beaten by Mick Barry of the Socialist Party by 26 votes. Barry Keane polled exceptionally well on First preferences and in fact was leading the Lord Mayor Brian Birmingham on the first count. Unfortunately Buttimers transfers favoured the Lord Mayor and Keane was eliminated, getting the Lord Mayor elected on his transfers. Maybe in five years time we can get the third seat.

In South Central Emmet O’Halloran was elected to the 2nd seat on the 4th count. That was a nail biting wait as on the elimination of Billy MacGill (FG) and Mary Ryder (GP) Emmet needed 250 votes to reach quota, while Mick Finn (Ind) only needed 114 votes. I was sure we were going to get the 3rd seat, but Mick Finn only got 90 transfers, while Emmet got 250 meaning he was bang on quota and was elected! There is hope for a 2nd Fine Gael seat in five years time, and who knows, it could be me running for it 😉

So Fine Gael’s total of 8 seats on Cork City Council remains unchanged and stays the largest party on City Council.

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Tomorrow, Please Vote Fine Gael number 1.

The upcoming elections give the people of Ireland a chance to say enough is enough. Enough of this Government that wasted the boom, enough of Government that has not delivered, enough of a Government that is ensuring Ireland is one of the last European countries to recover from this Global Recession. As a young unemployed person, I want to see Fianna Fáil out as quickly as possible.

A vote for Fine Gael tomorrow, is only the only the start in getting Fianna Fáil out. To hit Fianna Fáil you need to hit them where it hurts, at the ballot box. That is where Fianna Fáil get there power, from control of local authorities and appointments made through them. June 5th is the starting place.

A vote for Fine Gael will help ensure that Fianna Fáil will not be in the next Government. Labour, if the maths are right, they will go into power with Fianna Fáil like they have done in the past.

Fine Gael is committed to improving Ireland. It is committed to getting people back to work. It is committed to getting rid of waste in the civil service and especially the health service, so that it is efficient and serves the people it is there for.

In the last 12 months the Governments have had two major opportunities to bring the public finances into order and on both occasions missed opportunities to bring about much needed change. But these elections will not change that straight away. We have to wait for a General Election for that.

A vote for Senator Paschal Donohoe in Dublin Central and George Lee in Dublin South will bring the possibility of a General Election closer then you think. Senator Donohoe has shown that is committed to Dublin Central though his work inside and outside the Oireachtas. He has worked hard and will continue to work hard in the Dáil for Dublin Central and Ireland. George Lee brings a wealth of economic experience to Fine Gael and to the Dáil if elected in Dublin South. George consistently warned about the way our economy was headed during the boom years by paying attention to what outside reports were saying, unlike the Government.

Fine Gael has represented Ireland well in the European Parliament. As the largest Irish Party, it has represented us in the European Peoples Party – European Democrats (EPP-ED) grouping in the Parliament. Fine Gael has used its position in the group to ensure Ireland’s position. The five Irish MEP’s are held in high regard both within the Grouping and across the Parliament. Gay Mitchell in Dublin, Mairead McGuinneas and John Paul Phelan in East, Jim Higgins and Joe O’Reilly in North-West and Colm Burke and Sean Kelly in South represent a mix of youth and experience from both within politics and in outside bodies. They are committed to representing us to ensure they get the best for Ireland.

The local elections see a large number of young candidates running for election. From Simon Harris in Greystones to Sinead Shepard in Cobh and many more across the country Fine Gael have encouraged young people to stand up and take part in their communities and play a positive role. This is an opportunity that should be open to all, but Fine Gael actually live up to rhetoric and actually support young people and helps them to make changes in their locality.

Fine Gael is committed to ensuring there is something to leave our younger generations. To encourage them to pick up the mantel, to help in getting Fianna Fáil out of power to ensure there is a bright future ahead.

Tomorrow you can help start that change! Vote Fine Gael

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The Last Day

So today is the last day of the campaign. I have been mad on the campaign trail for the last few days actually going out canvassing during the day. Yesterday I went to Fermoy, Mitchelstown and Charleville with Colm Burke MEP (FG), alwell as canvassing in the evening. Today I was in Ballyvolane and Blackpool in Cork City as well as the City Centre canvassing for Colm.

What a reaction we got. It was fantastic. He was well recieved and lots of people are voting for him (or so we are told). Im not sure of the weather is having an impact but the mood on the campiagn trail is great. We all had great fun on the bus between locations, even though we are dying in the heat.

Tomorrow though is when it pays off, will the weather influence turnout? If its too hot will people bother voting?

Who knows. Hopefully hard work will pay off and people will turn out to vote tomorrow and send the message they want.

I am doing my last canvass tonight and also my first leaflet drop of the campaign (don’t know how I got this far without doing one!), but doing a drop late tonight to try and get a final message out.

Im going to be so bored next week!

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EPP Congress

Logo of the European People's Party
Image via Wikipedia

The European People’s Party Congress takes place this Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th in Warsaw. The congress will put the  finishing touches to the EPP Manifesto and will probably be the launch for the European Campaign.

Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny will be addressing the Congress on Wednesday as one of the EPP opposition leaders. He will be the last of the speakers on Wednesdays  before the Non-EU leaders speak on Thursday.

I was invited to the congress by the EPP but unfortunately I cannot attend. I would have loved to have gone as I would have loved to attend some of the side events which look really interesting. The ones that stand out are

  • Centre for European Studies: Conference on the democratisation of Belarus – 29th April 9:30 – 13:00
  • European Democratic Students: Conference on student issues in the EP elections – 29th April 10:00 – 13:00
  • Youth of the European People’s Party: Round Table 29th April 10:30 – 12:30

The Congress will be live streamed on the EPP’s Dialogue TV. For more information on the Congress see EPPWarsaw.eu. I may be live blogging the congress from the streaming on Thursday if i dont go canvassing with Colm Burke.

PS: There is also a new EPP Twitter Twibe, do join it to keep up to date!

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A Campaigning Lunch

Today on my lunch break, I went Colm Burkes European Election Campaign launch on Patrick St. What a great idea that was. Really it was.

Peter and Connor

By bringing politics back on the street he got a brilliant reaction. He was interacting with people and bringing politics to them. More politics should be conducting campaigns like this.

Colm Burke

I missed the speeches and that but a friend informed me that all speakers were on top form.

Bernard Allen TD, Colm Burke MEP, Cllr Joe O'Callaghan

This is what campaigning in, European, National and Local campaigns should be doing, bringing the campaign to the people. Not sending open letters!

County Colours

Well done to Colm and his team for bringing a touch of something new to the campaign trail.

Can wait to get out on a European canvass

UPDATE: My latest Think About It post is about this event

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Bludget: Are we flucked?

So the bludget is tomorrow and as my boss said, the country is flucked!

The Government cannot put the blame for this tough budget on outside forces. They have been in Government now for nearly 12 years and must share some of the blame.

I was at a fundraising lunch on Friday for Colm Burke and the Guest speakers were Pat Cox and Brian Lucy. Coming out of that lunch I was depressed. Its not looking good for us.

So what should the Government do? Here are my ideas:

  1. Cut Junior Minister (I know they are cutting 5, so 3 more wont hurt)
  2. Means test or tax childrens allowance (Consider it part of income)
  3. Increase top rate of tax
  4. Reduce civil service
  5. Reduce TD/Senators/Ministers Pay and Expenses (10% seams like an idea)
  6. Scrap E-Voting Machines
  7. Increase the upper “Lenihan Levy” rate

Well they are my ideas. Not sure if I would go as far as what Brian Lucy wants which is to Nationalise the banks. Do you have any ideas for the Brian Lenihan?

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Ireland South – The Candidates

As most of you know, Cork is part of the Ireland South constituency for the European Elections. This compromises of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. In the last elections in 2004 Ireland South returned 3 MEPs. In 2009 it will also return 3 MEPs.

In 2004 the following were elected:
Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail/UEN)
Simon Coveney (Fine Gael/EPP-ED)
Kathy Sinnot (Independent/IndDem)

This year sees a few changes as Colm Burke replaced Simon Coveney as MEP following Simon’s re-election to the Dáil. Also following this years elections Fianna Fail will change party groupings from UEN to ALDE.

So who are the 09 Candidates?

Well the following are the list of official candidates I can find for the Ireland South Constituency (mainly found via Eurvote.org)

Brian Crowley MEP – Fianna Fail
Brian Crowley was first elected to the European Parliament in 1994. He is currently Co-President of the UEN. He served in Seanad Eireann prior to being elected as an MEP.

Colm Burke MEP – Fine Gael
Colm Burke is a former Lord Mayor of Cork and represented the North West Ward of the City on Cork City Council. He was co-opted onto Simon Coveney’s seat in 2007.

Dan Boyle – Green Party/An Chomortas Glas
Senator Dan Boyle is the current Chairman of the Green Party as well as being Deputy Leader of Senad Eireann. He served as TD for Cork South Central between 2002 and 2007. He is the Green Party Spokesman on Finance and on Social and Family Affairs. This is his first attempt at a European Election

Kathy Sinnott MEP– Independent
Kathy Sinnott was elected to the European Parliament in 2004. She is currently Co-Chair of the Independence and Democracy Group within the Parliament. Prior winning her seat in the Parliament, she ran in the 2002 General Election in Cork South Central and narrowly missed out on a seat.

Alan Kelly – Labour Party
Senator Alan Kelly was elected toe Seanad Eireann in 2007 on the Agricultural Panel. He is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. He is Labour’s spokesperson in the Seanad on Tourism, Finance and Local Government. This is first contesting a European Election.

Sean Kelly – Fine Gael
Sean Kelly was President of the GAA from 2003 to 2006. He previously ran for Fine Gael in the Local Elections in North Kerry and failed to be elected. This is his first attempt at a European Election.

Toireasa Ferris – Sinn Fein
Toireasa Ferris was co-opted to Kerry County Council in 2003 (to replace Martin Ferris TD), she won relection in 2004. She was Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council from 2005-2006. This is her first attempt at a European Election.

So that is all the declared candidates for Ireland South. If you know of more let me know! I will be doing a more in-depth look at the candidates and where to find them online over the next few weeks!

This was originally posted on “The Political Gay” on GayCork.com

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Burke gets it wrong on Lisbon

Image via Wikipedia

According to RTÉ, Colm Burke MEP (FG – Ireland South) wants us to vote on Lisbon Treaty in April. But how can we??? The European Council have not agreed the text of the “necessary guarantees” that will, supposedly, get us to change our minds on the treaty.

Colm seams to be showing the effects of working in Brussels, you lose your connection to the people and only want to get your name in the paper, especially considering it is an election.

While Burke has a point when he says “It is not alarmist to state that were we not inside the Union our economic plight would mirror that of Iceland, with double digit interest rates and reliance on an International Monetary Fund bail-out”

But then he goes wrong again by suggesting the Cownen, Kenny and Gilmore should work together, but it has been stated before that, that shouldnt be done in public!

While ideas about Lisbon catch headlines, especially on a Sunday, but sometimes I wish people would think before they speak to the media.

Ireland South will be a tough battle for everyone and making suggestions that are easily rebuffed is not the way to get your name out there.

Best of luck though to Colm Burke and Sean Kelly though in the European Elections.

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Two FG Candidates for Ireland South?

So Sean Kelly, former President of the GAA has thrown his hat in the ring for a place on the Fine Gael ticket in Ireland South, but can Fine Gael win two seats in Ireland South?

At the last election in 2004 the quota was 121,068. Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney got 118,937 first preferences votes. The combined Fianna Fail first preference vote (Brian Crowley and Gerard Collins) was 198,670 and they failed to get two candidates elected.

This strategy was tried in both Ireland East and Ireland North-West in the last elections. It worked well in Ireland East where it succeded in getting both Mairead McGuinness and Avril Doyle elected, but it failed in Ireland North West where Madeleine Taylor-Quinn ended up acting as a vote sweeper for Jim Higgins.

What will be the strategy for Ireland South though? Will it be to be successful like Mairead and Avril or that one of the candidates will act as a vote sweeper.

This will all be decided by Fine Gael members in a meeting after Christmas. I personally am torn over which way I will vote or argue for. Looking at the numbers it dosent seam vaible but when you look back at the results from 1999 in Leinster the idea of running two candidates seams to be a non runner as between Avril and Alan Gills Fine Gael managed only to get Avril elected at the cost of Gillis losing his seat. Is that what will happen in 09, Burke will lose the seat to Kelly? But then in 2004 we win both seats in Ireland East, can that be repeated in 2009 in Ireland South?

It will take me a long time to come to a conclusion on this and would appreciate other peoples thoughts and comments!


I have listed the other candidates here

Hairdressers key to treaty vote

Via The Irish Examiner (Full Story)

Well done to Irish MEP, Colm Burke who has come up with an excellent idea to spread information on the Lisbon Treaty. He has decided to send information to hairdressers after his own experience in one in Cork. Teh hairdresser was told that the treaty would “bring in a new regime about the number of children she could have“. I have read the treaty and there is nothing in it on that. He was also handed a leaflet that claimed (not in the hairdressers) that “everyone would have to pay an extra 20% tax to the EU” which again is completely false.

The no campaign is stooping to low after low. Libertas also, in the Irish Examiner, misquoted EU Commissioner Margot Wallström in a letter, which she has blogged about.

What other untruths apart from the usual, Neutrality/European Army, are we going to hear. I’m thinking of compiling a list.