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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9 Days Left to Register to Vote

voting day in a small town
Image by Muffet via Flickr

Thanks to Generation Yes on twitter for the reminder that there is only 9 working days remaining to get registered to Vote for the June 5th elections, Local, European and Byelection. Check if you are registered on

Remeber EU Citizens are entitled to vote in the Local and European Elections. Non-EU residents may be eligible to vote in Local Elections depending in their situation.

If you are not registered to vote and have never voted before fill out the RFA2 form (PDF). If you have changed address and have voted before then fill out the RFA3 form.

Do use your vote on June 5th and make a difference to how your locality and your Europe is shaped!

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Diary of a Serial Canvasser – Part One

Jack Straw on the doorstep with local councill...
Image via Wikipedia

I mentioned before how busy I was with canvassing and with tomorrow marking 5 weeks to election day I decided to start a bit of a diary on how the canvass is going.

Lets start with last Wednesday. I went canvassing for Cllr. John Buttimer (South West Ward) in Deenrock in Togher. I would know a few people in the area here through being involved in the Scouts in Togher. It was a mix of a canvass. Some areas of the estate were very much against politicians in general and other parts were very positive towards Fine Gael.  We had a large team out and got a large area canvassed.

Thursday saw no canvassing due to weather.

Last Friday then saw me in Blackrock with Cllr. Laura McGonigle (South East Ward). What a different world compared to Wednesday night. Big houses and a good reaction nearly on every door. A big issue here was dog shit, I kid you not. A good canvass and lots done.

Monday saw me canvassing my own road with Emmet O’Halloran (South Central Ward). This is only the second time I have ever canvassed my own road. The last time was for Jerry Buttimer during the General Election. We got a great response and the majority of the nieghbours were nice to me when they recognised me (They don’t often see me wearing glasses). A great canvass really and very positive towards Fine Gael and Emmet.

Tuesday sees me scouting

Last night I was back in South West Ward with Cllr John Buttimer in the College Road area. We had a good canvass despite the weather, but we had to finish early due to the weather and the match. There are a lot of students in the area and complaints about them featured on many doors. On one road I managed to knock on the door of the Chair of the residents association. That was an interesting conversation I tell you, but she didnt complain about students!

Tonight sees me back in South Central Ward with Emmet and tomorrow night I am out with the Lord Mayor Cllr Brian Birmingham in South West Ward.

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Don’t Vote? Then You Can’t Complain

I’m bringing back a slogan from the General Election Campaign in 2007 that USI used. The reason I am reviving it is that on the door’s I am getting a lot of “I’m not voting for any politician” responses. This is not the way to go. One woman who said she doubted she would vote for Fine Gael and said she didnt trust politicians, said she would still vote because that was the right thing to do.

These Local and European Elections are a chance to tell the Government what you think about their actions and what they have done so far in Government. If you are happy with them vote for them, if your not don’t! But do vote!

This is your chance. There might not be a General Election until 2012, which is a good bit away and a long time for a change of Government. A change you might want!

It is highly unlikely that you and a candidate (or anyone else for that matter) will agree on 100% of issues, but you may agree with one candidate 50% of the time and another 60% of the time and that is who you should vote for, whether they be Independent, Labour, Sinn Fein, Green, Socialist, Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.

Be sure to check if your registered on and if not you have until May 18th to get onto the supplementary register. The forms are on the website.

USI are running a campaign to get Students to vote this year. They are calling for students to vote against the Government parties because of the  Governments education policy. See for more info on their campaign

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Canvassing a tiring business, but worth it!

Last night I was out canvassing in Cork South Central ward for Emmett O’Halloran. We were canvassing in the Turners Cross area of the ward. In my years of canvassing, I have rarely come across a reaction as I did last night. Apart from one or two “plague on all your houses” voters, the majority were very positive when they saw “Fine Gael” on the leaflet or knew of Emmett and were willing to support him.

Cork South Central is a competitive ward. It is a five seater. So far there are two Fianna Fail candidates (Sean Martin and Tom O’Driscoll), two Fine Gael candidates (Emmett O’Halloran and Billy MaGill), three independents (Mick Finn and Pauie Dineen, also I believe someone conected to Con O’Connell is going to run), one Labour Candidate (Lorraine Kingston), one Green Candidate (Mary Ryder) and one Sinn Fein Candidate (Fiona Kerins). That is 10 candidates for five seats. It will be an interesting election.

I myself will be out canvassing two nights a week for Emmett and say I get a great buzz from it! Even when you get stuck on doors!

Last night now I got caught on two doors. One was about the heath levy and one was about pensions and taxes, something the local elections have no baring on, but people are worried about these issues it would seem.

Next week we are starting in my area of Ballphehane. It will be fun!

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The Political Gay is back!

So today I started back blogging I decided to revive the blog as with the elections and referendum this year (and a supplementry budget on April 7th) there is stuff out there to be blogged about and this way I can expand my readership! 😉

It will mainly be posts about the Local and European Elections, but after that I will switch to the re-run of the Lisbon Treaty. It is hoped that it will be a weekly post, but that might change closer to election day.

So check out the blog, or subscribe to the RSS Feed!

PS: If you are subscribed to @Stevemyopinion you will receive updates via that aswell!

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Simon Harris – asking for Volunteers online

The above is a video by Simon Harris (FG Candidate for Greystones Town Council) asking for volunteers in Greystones to help out with his campaign. Would love to know how many sign up due to a video on youtube.

Would it make you call him up and volunteer? I wouldnt, from the video alone.

Also that Vote Harris number one sticker looks mightily familiar, I believe I wore one of those back in 2004 in Ballina when he ran for YFG Vice Presidency (Which he didnt win).

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FG Gains a Councillor

Coat of arms of County CorkImage via Wikipedia

So Cork County Councillor Deirdre Forde (Carrigaline/Harbour Electoral Area) has switched from Fianna Fail to Fine Gael. She has many reasons to do so, but the on that isn’t mentioned in the Press Release is her main reason for changing.

In the PR she gives her reasons as follows:

Over the last number of months I have sensed that the current Government were moving in a direction that I was not happy with. The Budget in October was the first time that this really struck me when I saw the attempt to take the medical card off OAPs. Subsequent decisions on education supports for special needs children and the provision of cervical cancer vaccination for teenage girls confirmed for me that the wrong people were being asked to pay the price for a faltering economy.

“Having made numerous attempts to speak to senior Party figures about my concerns it became obvious to me that I was not going to be able to effect the type of change that both I, and others, would have liked to have seen.

But is that really the reason?? No.

The real reason is that Fianna Fail have selected Michéal Martin twin brother (whos name escapes me) to run in the same ward. Cllr Forde felt that he was being goven more help and support by head office then she was. This boils down to her taking these personally and then seeing what way the wind was blowing and jumping ship.

This has actual all been played out in the Cork Eveing Echo over the last few months and I was not surprised that she switched. I am surprised that it took this long! Any way best of luck to Cllr Deirdre Forde and to the other Fine Gael Candidates in that ward Cllr John Collins, Cllr Timothy Lombard, and Mr David O’Byrne.

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First Canvass of 09

Jack Straw on the doorstep with local councill...Image via WikipediaWell I am home after my first night canvassing in 2009. I was out canvassing for Emmet O’Halloran a candidate (for Fine Gael, in case you didn’t know) in Cork South Central Ward for Cork City Council. We were canvassing near where I went to secondary school in Deerpark. It had been awhile since I had been out canvassing door to door (last time was the generals in 07) but it didn’t take me long to get back into the swing of things and peoples reaction did help alot.

There was alot of anti-FF on the doors tonight. More so then towards the end of the General Election Campaign in 2007. I personally would not like to be a Fianna Fail canvasser this time round. Alot of people were saying never again would they vote for Fianna Fail. The budget, Beverly Cooper-Flynn and Government inaction on the jobs front featured heavily as well as local issues.

Language was an issue I came across tonight. Under EU law all EU Nationals have to right to vote in Local and European Elections, so it is worth my while knocking on the door and hoping they speak English. In a few houses I knocked on, there was an obvious language barrier, which was very annoying for me as I didn’t know if the person understood me at all!

Overall I really enjoyed being back on the canvass and I suppose the reaction helped majorly, especially as it was so cold! Looking forward to many more, considering its a good few weeks to June!

So if you live in Cork South Central, very soon you could have me knocking on your door!

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FG Profiles of Candiates

Fine Gael have put profiles on it’s website of the 700+ local election candidates up for election next year. Below I have linked to the candidates for Cork City Council. During the week I will do Cork County Council followed by the various town councils. I will try and link also to any campaign sites or interesting stuff I find by googling the candidates names!

Cllr Brian Bermingham – Cork South West LEA
Brian is currently the Lord Mayor of Cork. His profile is quite sparse but has been an elected representative since the 1970’s. He has is own website here

Cllr John Buttimer – Cork South West LEA
John is a Senior Clinical Psychologist and was co-opted to replace his brother Jerry Buttimer after his election to Seanad Eireann. John is originally from Bishopstown. His profile is sparse but he tells me he will get it done and a website is in the works somewhere down the line!

Mr Des Cahill – Cork South East LEA
Des is a businessman from Blackrock. He hopes to be an “approachable and professional link between” the General Public and TD’s and Senators.

Cllr. Jim Corr – Cork South East LEA
It would be easier to list things in Cork that don’t involve Jim in someway then to list the things he is involved with! He is involved with things like the Opera House and the Midsummer Festival. He has been a Councillor since the 1970’s

Cllr Dino Cregan – Cork South Central LEA
Dino is one of the stalwarts of Cork City Council and a local businessman! If you haven’t been to Cork unless you have eaten in Dino’s!

Mr Anthony Dennehy – Cork North Central LEA
Anthony is a native of Ballyvolane and wants to represent his City. Anthony was on teacher placement in St. Aidans Community College and this is what one of his students had to say on the website

Sound out-can relate to young people well cos hes young enough himself. Knows exactly the problems facing teens in ballyvolane. Can be strict with referals & rules at times-we’re only having a mess!!

One of his priorities is the following, and is one that maybe should be thought about.

The establishment of a seperate tourist body to promote Cork as a region in it’s own right and not as part of the South West. The loss of the Cork-Swansea ferry route has had significant economic consequences for the greater Cork region and re-establishing this link must be an immediate priority.

Cllr Patricia Gosch – Cork North Central LEA
Patricia is currently Deputy Mayor of Cork. She is seeking to re-election to Cork City Council.

Mr Barry Keane – Cork South West LEA
Barry is originally from Bishopstown and now lives in The Lough area (like me!). He is a teacher in Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh and judging from the comments on the site he is “sound”, a “legend”, “king among men”, “god among mere mortals”, “pope” and “santa”. (Don’t ask about the last two, I worry about the youth of today). He has a list of priorities among which are

Work to create jobs by building on Cork’s major competitive advantage in the food, and food technology industries. We need local jobs for local people, and Foreign Multi-Nationals alone will not provide enough jobs. UCC is a leading food science university, and the city should work with them to incubate commercially viable products.

An interesting idea that works on Cork’s strength both past and current strengths.

Cllr Laura McGonigle – Cork South East LEA
Laure is 25 years old and was co-opted onto City Council in 2007 to fill the seat left by Deirdre Clune’s election. She has her own website. One of her priorities is Douglas Swimming pool which has fallen into neglect over the last number of years and badly needs refurbishment!

Cllr Dara Murphy – Cork North East LEA
Dara is from Gardiners hill and was elected in 2004. Sparse profile and I don’t know an awful lot about him!

Mr Emmet O’Halloran – Cork South Central LEA
Emmet is highly involved in the community in Turners Cross as he is Chairperson of Turner’s Cross Community Association and he is Director of Turner’s Cross Community Development Club. He has four priorities

* Better facilities for young people
* Practical solutions to anti-social behaviour
* Completion of the Cork Docklands Project
* A fair and equitable social housing system

I realise there is no candidate listed for Cork North West LEA. No convention must have been held yet. I will update this or post again when it happens.