Deputy Martin Kenny
Leitrim’s Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny has admitted it was a “disastrous local election” both in the county and nationally for his party.
In relation to Pat Gilhooley’s loss, Deputy Kenny said “it would be easier to lose by a few hundred and just six.” He didn’t blame the party’s vote management and said in hindsight three candidates was not a good idea in the Ballinamore area but that they based that decision on the great Sinn Féin vote received in 2014. He was sorry that Caroline Mulvey who replaced him on the council was not re-elected.
In Seadhna Logan’s case, Deputy Kenny said it was “disappointing” for a “fine councillor to lose out” but he congratulated Thomas Mulligan and said he understood there was sympathy for Mulligan in Mohill after he lost his seat in 2014.
Nationally, Kenny admitted it was a “disastrous local election” for Sinn Féin. He said the party have not been hit so hard in the Republic for at least 20 years. “Five years ago the floating vote came to us, this time we didn’t appeal to them,” he stated.
Martin Kenny did not shy away from the hard questions and said his party will need to re-evaluate and work out what the problem is, “is it our policies, leadership, presentation … we need to come up with real solutions.”
He said the Sinn Féin vote was only marginally down in Ballinamore and Manorhamilton, while Carrick-on-Shannon was hit harder. Kenny noted “in local elections the vote is for the people more than the party.”
Deputy Kenny will be in Castlebar on Tuesday, May 28 when he expects Matt Carthy will be re-elected as an MEP for Sinn Fein. Deputy Kenny said any rumours of him taking over Matt Carthy’s role in Europe after the next General Election is not true, “I have no interest in that EU role.”
Is Martin Kenny ready for a general election? The Aughavas man believes there will be a general election called in the next 12 months and says while work is needed on the Sinn Féin brand he is ready to contest the seat.