The front of a leaflet being distributed by Ronan McMahon (via Facebook)
A LOCAL ELECTION candidate, who has been accused of confusing and annoying voters in a south Dublin suburb, has insisted it would be misleading for him NOT to reference his Fine Gael connections.
Ronan McMahon has been criticised for leaflets with colours similar to those of Fine Gael that refer to him as an ‘Independent Fine Gael’ candidate even though no such entity exists.
The son of a former Fine Gael TD and senator failed to be selected by the party to run in the Templeogue-Terenure constituency in May’s local elections, but is now running for South Dublin County Council under an ‘Independent Fine Gael’ banner but he will appear as ‘non-party’ on the ballot paper.
“I think I would be accused of misleading the voters if I didn’t put my link to Fine Gael,” McMahon insisted.
“I have faith and confidence that they are not being confused as I do have strong links to Fine Gael. I am there since I was a child and my father was very much involved.”
McMahon said that his name is “synonymous” with Fine Gael in the area due to his father Larry McMahon who was a TD and Senator in the 1970s and early 80s.
Asked if he has encountered questions about the leaflet on the doorstep, he said: “They have asked ‘What’s Independent Fine Gael?’ and when I explained it they perfectly understood and the name McMahon is synonymous with Fine Gael.
He described the design of the leaflet “as good interpretative business colours” saying they are Snap printing colours – the company which he works for.
“I am not hiding the fact that I am a member of Fine Gael. I’d be confusing voters more if I did. It wouldn’t be open and transparent,” he insisted.
McMahon said he may not have got the nomination because he is “not a nodding dog”, adding: “I have been outspoken on austerity measures, that might not have helped me at convention.”
He acknowledged that he stands to be expelled from Fine Gael for running against its candidates in the area, but he said he has no plans to set up a new party.