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on the trail

Fine Gael bottled water, giant floating heads and other strange sights from Election 2014

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro…

Updated 19.45

THERE’S JUST TWO days of canvassing left before votes are cast.

From candidates’ vehicles parked in disabled spots to Ming’s evil eye, there’s already been a fair few attention grabbing sights on the trail in the past few days.

As the final countdown continues, and Brussels and council hopefuls battle for a share of the public’s attention, we’re expecting plenty more drama in the next 48 hours or so.

We’ll be updating this post all day — so if you see anything you think we should know about, drop us a mail at or or Tweet us @thejournal_ie.

Here’s what’s been catching our eye so far… 

1. FINE GAEL’S BOTTLED WATER: Councillor Neale Richmond, who’s running to retain his seat on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, was handing out these at a busy junction in Sandyford this morning…

[Jason Redmond]

Considering the issue of water charges has been so controversial recently, a slightly odd choice of promotional material maybe?

“Well it’s something I did before, five years ago,” Richmond says.

It’s a normal enough thing to do on the campaign trail. Leo Varadkar once handed out ‘Lion’ bars because of Leo the Lion; Lucinda Creighton handed out ‘Refreshers’… I didn’t want to hand out sweets so I thought water would be a good choice.

The Councillor headed to his local Aldi yesterday to stock up on the fun-size bottles. He says there was a positive feedback from drivers and pedestrians at Lambs Cross this morning…

No there was absolutely no flack. The feedback was great.

2. PEARLY WHITES: On the far side of the city, a Fine Gael candidate in Howth/Malahide chose something a little less controversial to hand to prospective voters.

He’s a dentist too — so it can’t hurt business…


3. #GIANT FLOATING HEADS: A novel approach from the Green Party’s DLR candidate in Killiney/Shankill, Cara Augustenborg…


[Green Party/Facebook]


It’s heartening to see Direct Democracy Ireland’s Tom Darcy is sticking by his strategy to emblazon ‘as seen on Youtube’ across his election posters….

[Paul Hosford] 

Why is this noteworthy?

Because this is the Youtube clip he’s best known for…

Mark Moloney / YouTube


5. MUG SHOTS: Deirdre Clune’s one of two Fine Gael candidates in a battle for the fourth seat in the Ireland South Euro constituency.

Her campaign posted this video in the last few days, telling us they’d collected a mug in each of the electoral area’s ten counties.

It hardly seems worth the bother… Only the Limerick and Cork mugs have anything to do with the counties in question….

(Deirdre Clune)

The whole production puts us in mind of this scene from The Simpsons, featuring U2′s Adam Clayton and his spoon collection…


(Sorry, we could only find the clip in Spanish. It’s funnier in Spanish though, somehow)

6. GONE FISHING: Labour MEP hopeful Lorraine Higgins appears to have gone in search of floating voters (like literally*) in Carrick-on-Shannon…

[Higgins campaign]

*Not literally, obviously.

7. ONE DIRECTION: Fine Gael’s Emily Wallace, local election candidate in Kinnegad, just doesn’t specify which way.

8. WATCH THE SKIES: That’s what Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan has been telling followers on Twitter. To the best of our knowledge, there’s been no UFO-sightings in Midlands North West – rather a ‘Send Ming To Europe’ banner. At least we think that’s what it says.

That’s it so far today.

You know what to do if  you see anything weird…

- Additional reporting by Órla Ryan

Read: On The Trail: 9 odd, weird and wonderful things from Election 2014

Read: If you’re not sick of opinion polls already … here’s the ‘poll of polls’ 

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