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Fine Gael TD Michael Ring speaking to the media as counting continues at TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar for the Midlands North West constituency Alamy Stock Photo
Back in action

'We never went away, but we're back': Fine Gael's Michael Ring says party has had 'great election'

“You had us all written off two months ago, you were actually calculating who would be the ‘Minister for what’,” said Ring.

FINE GAEL TD Michael Ring has said his party is “back” after results so far in the local and European Elections.

Fine Gael currently have a slender lead on Fianna Fáil in the local elections, and speaking in Castlebar, Ring told reporters that Fine Gael have had a “great election”.

“You [the media] had us all written off two months ago, you were actually calculating who would be the ‘Minister for what’.

“So the battle is on for the next election now and Fine Gael are back.

“Not on the way back, we never went away, but we’re back.”

Ring also praised the job of Simon Harris since becoming party leader and Taoiseach.

“He has really lifted us and he lifted the campaign,” said Ring.

He added: “Let’s call a spade a spade, we were in a bad place a few months ago and nobody thought we could lift the party again.

“If there had have been a leadership battle,  I probably would have voted for Pascal Donohoe, but Simon Harris has really impressed me, he’s done a superb job.

In praising Harris’s energy, Ring referenced an incident on the campaign trail in Westport, Co Mayo last week when Harris was heckled by a crowd that included family members of Enoch Burke.

“I was with him in Westport, and even though we were being followed, he was running all over the place and even the Burkes couldn’t catch him,” said Ring.

Ring was speaking to reporters at the European Election count for the Midlands-North-West constituency in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

He said he is “hopeful” that Fine Gael will win two seats.

“I don’t know how Nina Carberry is doing,” said Ring, “but I have no doubt that Maria Walsh will win a seat.

“I’m told that the Shinners are not performing as well as people thought they would,” add Ring, who said he didn’t expect a final result until later next week.

A total of 27 candidates contested the Midlands-North-West constituency.

Remarking on the length of the ballet, at 73 centimetres long, Ring said: “It was like a toilet roll, it was a disgrace.

“Democracy is democracy, but by God lads. One man said to me, ‘I’d want a bit of help to lift this’, it was crazy stuff.”

However, he said he “started and number one and finished out” the ballot.

“It took me a long time to do it but I gave everybody a vote and I hope everybody would give me a vote if I’m going again.”

Ring voiced support for a general election in October and said some Fine Gael politicians who have said they will not run again might reconsider.

The Mayo TD himself has yet to decide if he will run again, but told reporters: “I have energy, and if I’m not in politics, I’ll be in something else.

“I haven’t made up my mind but if I go, I’m ready for action.”

This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work are the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.

 

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