*Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) left and Denis Vaughan (second from left) analyse the tallies. Photograph: Joe Buckley

FINE GAEL ran a “tribal campaign” in North Clare which “squeezed” challenging candidates according to one of Labour’s two unsuccessful candidates across the county.

Denis Vaughan (LAB) polled 92 first preference votes in the Ennistymon LEA and was eliminated on the third count following the elections of both Bill Slattery (FG) and Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG).

Speaking to The Clare Echo if he was surprised by his vote, Denis answered briskly, “yes, next question”.

Asked why he believed his vote was the lowest of the nine candidates, the impresario outlined, “I think we’ve been squeezed by the Fine Gael tribal campaign in North Clare, Bill has been working on the campaign for the last three or four months, nobody with a full-time job can spend that amount of time on it”.

Gort based stonemason, Michael Loughrey (IP) who had a low profile in North Clare ran for the Irish People managed to get a higher vote than Ennistymon’s Vaughan. When asked why he felt such a scenario occurred, Denis stated, “I’m not answering that question. I’m representing the Labour Party and we have certain values. That is democracy, I’m a democrat unlike lots of other people, I fought for democratic principles and I will continue to do so”.

There are lessons to take from the campaign, the former Chairperson of Labour’s branch in Clare said, “You always learn lessons, this is my first campaign as a candidate myself, I’ve learned a lot from it and I’ll keep on learning from it”.

Dermot Hayes and Denis Vaughan. Photograph: Joe Buckley

Vaughan continued, “To start campaigning earlier is the first lesson. I fought a campaign of anti-racism, in this campaign we have a labour shortage and it’s been filled by the immigrants, the refugees and the Ukrainians, these people are very welcome, what would we do without them, they are helping our economy and keeping the taxes down”.

On what his future holds in politics, Denis commented, “We’ll see but I will continue campaigning as I have for many years, we’ve the General Election coming up”. When asked if he may throw his name into the ring, he said, “We’ll see”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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