As with all elections there are those who miss out on the final count but Manorhamilton’s candidates remained philosophical, even in defeat.
Independent candidate, Thomas Kelly, who polled exceptionally well with 496 first preference votes said he believed that the election was a “missed opportunity to have a strong anti fracking activist on Leitrim County Council”.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer following the election count, Mr Kelly said “some people opposed to Fracking did vote for me but unfortunately others who claim to be opposed to fracking seem to have put the party first.
“There are a number of issues I took on to sort out for people during my campaign so I will be following up on the ones I haven’t brought to a conclusion yet and, of course, people can still contact me.
“I have a track record of not being a quitter. Councillors must fight to have more powers and need also to make better use of what is available to them. “
Fianna Fáil candidates, Philip Rooney and Pat Munday have also taken a philosophical attitude to the outcome of the count.
Rossinver’s Philip Rooney said he was “disappointed to a degree” but insisted “voters were not the problem. I had great support, the problem was it was the wrong strategy.”
Mr Rooney explained he was selected at convention along with two other party colleagues but said the late decision to run a fourth party candidate was the “nail in the coffin.”
When asked if this defeat would signal the end of his political ambitions he was adamant that was not the case.
“I’m stronger than ever I was. I am working in the voluntary sector for the last seven years. This is only the start for me, I feel I have a lot to bring to the table,” adding, “I’m not gone, the voluntary sector is too important.”
Paying tribute to his friends, family and electoral team he said, “My team were unreal. They put in huge hours and dealt with different issues. My team were 110% behind me but the vote was split. If that hadn’t happened I would be speaking to you under different circumstances.”
His Fianna Fail running-mate Pat Munday was also critical of the selection process as he was added to the ticket at a late stage.
“They didn’t have the foresight and vision to do it on the night (of convention) or a couple of days after. It was put very strongly to them and I have issues with the people who sat on their hands for five months, that cost Manorhamilton,” he observed.
Reflecting on his own vote Mr Munday said, “I am disappointed but it reflects my own late entry into the race and the convictions of other people to other candidates.”
He added: “A good Fianna Fail vote was maintained in Manorhamilton and that justified the election of Justin Warnock.”
He also took the opportunity to pay tribute to his team of helpers saying, “They were brilliant. I had a small crew who worked hard and very intensely and I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet everybody. We were courteous to the people we met and that courtesy was returned to us.”
Mr Munday asked anybody who notices one of his posters in the coming days to contact him and he will ensure it is promptly taken down.
Little known candidate, Independent, Seamus Kelly, secured just 17 votes on Saturday, two of which came from transfers.
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