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'Enda Kenny's seat isn't safe, an independent could take it'

A new group in Mayo is looking for “a real alternative” to established political parties.

1ST INDEPENDENT MAYO – a coalition of community groups has said Enda Kenny’s seat in the county is far from safe.

The group has been in the news today, following the publication of this ad:

mayo indo

In short, the group feels that the perfect independent candidate will be “a well-informed straight talker” with ”exceptional leadership and communications skills”. The ad says candidates “without current or previous affiliations” to any political groups are “particularly welcome”.

Spokesperson Eddie Farrell said the group hopes to put forward two or three candidates to run under the ’1st Independent Mayo’ banner in the next general election. They will be selected after pitching their policies and ideas to locals at town meetings, before being voted for by attendees at a “county convention”.

Farrell said the aim of the process is to offer people “a real alternative” and “bring new talent” to challenge the “failed political system” of the established parties.

‘A dogfight’

Independent TD for Roscommon South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice spoke at a 1st Independent Mayo meeting in December but Farrell said the candidates chosen to run will not necessarily be part of his new alliance.

The Mayo constituency will reduce from five to four seats in the next election. Four Fine Gael TDs currently hold seats in the area – Enda Kenny, Michael Ring, Michelle Mulherin and John O’Mahony, as does Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary.

Fine Gael Conferences Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Farrell thinks Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and an independent candidate are all guaranteed a seat, while the fourth seat will be “a dog fight” between all the parties bar Labour and an independent.

He said constituents are “totally disillusioned” with the last two governments, adding that the Taoiseach’s seat is far from guaranteed.

Farrell said Michael Ring is “much more popular” than Kenny in his home county.

He added that he hopes to see the process replicated in other counties.

1st Independent Mayo comprises several local groups including a branch of the National Citizens Movement and the Moy Valley Protection Group – an organisation that is opposed to wind turbines, pylons and water charges.

The ad ran in the Irish Independent today and will be published in regional media in the coming weeks.

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Órla Ryan

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