*Ruairí Keenan. Photograph: Tom Micks. 

CLARE’s youngest candidate to have contested the local elections has said the campaign has affirmed his love for politics.

Twenty one year old, Ruairí Keenan (IND) polled 399 first preference votes in his first run for office.

Of the thirteen candidates in the field for the Ennis Municipal District, he lasted until the fifth count and was the fourth to be eliminated, surviving longer than Seamus Ryan (LAB), Amanda Major (IND) and Jacek Kazimierz Kwaśny (IND).

Speaking to The Clare Echo following his elimination, Ruairí remarked, “I feel incredible, when I was coming into this tonight I expected to go out on the first count but I survived to the fifth count, to beat major political parties (Labour) is quite the feat for me, I came in with humble ambitions but to very much over exceed those expectations. I entered late, I wasn’t really known, I was Independent, I’m twenty one years of age, I’m untested but people clearly had confidence in me. I didn’t get a seat on the Council but that’s for five years time, I’ve five years to prepare now because I will run again”.

“I couldn’t tell you, I don’t know what I’ll be doing tomorrow,” he said when asked of his plans to go about increasing his vote and profile prior to the 2029 local elections. “It is a 100 percent guarantee (to run in 2029) unless I become a TD or some higher office. I’ve always loved politics but it is a sport for me now, I’ve had a taste for the blood and now I’m a shark honing in”.

Support from his parents Kevin and Margaret has been a constant on the campaign for the Oakleigh Wood resident. Overall he said the experience was “incredible”. He added, “I’ve been here since 09:39 this morning, we’re getting to midnight now so it’s been a long enough day”.

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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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