*Tony Mulcahy. Photograph: Joe Buckley

TWENTY FIVE years after travelling up the road from Shannon to Ennis for his first successful election count to gain a seat on Clare County Council, Tony Mulcahy (FG) was back in the thrust of the West County and once again celebrating.

Eight years after finishing up in the Seanad, Tony marked a successful return to politics by claiming the seventh and final seat in the Shannon Municipal District. His win along with Cllr Bill Slattery’s (FG) successful comeback sees Fine Gael gain a seat on the County Council despite not fielding a seat in the Ennis MD after Johnny Flynn’s (FG) resignation and subsequent exit from the party.

Getting the backing from the public has been reenergising, he said. “The walking around the road, up and down the hill nearly caught me alright because it has been a long time since I’ve done that but I certainly have the energy at the back end of a vote make no mistake about that, that will never change and it hasn’t changed in the last seven years and it won’t change for the next five years”.

In 1999, Tony obtained 451 when standing for the Council for the first time. He drew parallels between his return and that of first-time candidate Keith McNamara (IND). “It was one regret that I would have, young Keith McNamara was a candidate there in Shannon with 500 votes, if we had a Town Council Keith would be on the Town Council”.

Town Councils would be a big asset for developing politicians, he said. “If you go back to Shannon that time there was a time we had thirteen public reps in Shannon, we had nine on the Town Council, three on the County Council and I was in the Seanad, the town and surrounding area had massive representation. I never agreed with Phil Hogan and I’ll put his name out because I’ve no qualms, on the abolition of the Town Council and the so-called savings we were going to make, there was no savings, the Town Council was getting about €180 a month, it was nuts”.

Misinformation that existed within Shannon on the use of facilities for IPAS could have been tackled with more representation, he said. “You come to my town, we are one of the most cosmopolitan towns in the country, there is only about twenty people originally born in that square kilometre, Pat O’Brien and the O’Brien family would have been one that are there that length of time, there are a few others that were born in the town. Over the years, we’ve had Chileans, Syrians, Filipinos with great communities in our town, we’ve always been an open, cosmopolitan and welcoming town, I’d like that to continue, I think there is a lot of misinformation out there, if we had the Town councillors you could represent that better and put the message out clearer”.

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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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