Friday, May 29, 2009
THE END IS NIGH
With Arthur Morgan in Ardee
29 Bealtaine 2009
THE END IS NIGH.
The election trail now has an end in sight, thanks be to God. This time next week it will be all over in the north, except for the counting. And all over in the south except for the voting. This blog, now suffering from a heavy man flu, has travelled to all arts and parts of the country and will do so again in the next seven days.
This week saw me mostly in Dublin where the anger against the government is palpable. It cuts across all sections of citizenry. The big danger is that some voters are so browned off they may not bother voting. That’s what Fianna Fail are banking on, pardon the pun. The core Fianna Fáil vote, unless it collapses completely, is still bigger than the votes of most of the other parties. So nothing can be taken for granted. Every vote counts. Not least because Sinn Féin is contesting EU seats across the island as well as local government elections in the south and two Dáil bi-elections in Dublin.
The big interest in the capital is around who will win the Euro seats. Most commentators think Labour and Fine Gael are a shoe in. If this is so then the battle will be for the last seat. And that will be between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fail. It’s still too close to call. For Mary Lou to win is a huge ask but if the goodwill can be turned into votes and the anger transformed into action then it is still do-able.
In the other Euro constituencies republicans will poll very well. Tóireasa Ferris has caught the imagination. I spent some time with her in Cork and it is clear that the young Kerry activist has a way with her with the voters. Tóireasa clearly loves canvassing. And it shows. The cráic is always ninety. So lets see how that pans out on the day.
With Tóireasa Ferris and Henry Cremin in Cork
So too with Padraic MacLochlainn. Faced with a strong challenge from Padraic, Fianna Fáil panicked and introduced party stalwart and fellow Donegal man, Pat the Cope, into the race at the last minute, to the great displeasure of his running mate. On the assumption that Pat the Cope will get elected, it will be interesting to see how all that works out in the battle for the last seat.
So too with Leinster. Here another young republican woman and Kilkenny mother Kathleen Funchion is twinned with Louth’s Tomás Sharkey. They will do extremely well.
On the campaign Trail in Kilkenny with Kathleen Funchion
Which brings me back to the North. This blog came up from Dublin last night and spent the morning at Saint Georges Market in the centre of Beál Feirste with Bairbre de Brún. I bought some soda and potato farls and a home made apple cake. And some olives. And two colouring books. I nearly bought a Meat Loaf LP. Did some canvassing as well. Two outta three aint bad. Met two Mary Lou voters. Up the Dubs. Except on June 7 when Antrim play against them.
We are off to County Down now for the day. Tyrone is the last stop tonight. And then back to the capital again tomorrow. How is Bairbre doing? Go h’iontach. But like every where else, every vote counts.
And if ever there is a reason to vote it is the awful events in Coleraine where a Catholic family have been bereaved by sectarian hatred and others have been severely traumatised.
There can be no space for sectarianism if this awful viciousness is to be eradicated. Our thoughts are with the McDaid family and with the Flemings. Their suffering puts these elections in context. It also provides stark reasons for making politics work.
The Sinn Fein Cork Team