As a first time candidate for the local elections on May 24th, Shane Talty views himself as “a step towards the future” and he’s counting on the Ennistymon local electoral area to think the same when it comes to polling day.
When sitting Fianna Fáil councillors Richard Nagle and Michael Hillery announced their upcoming retirements it opened the door for a certain Ennistymon postmaster called Shane Talty to throw his name into the ring. “I wouldn’t have been contesting an election against any of the two of those but when the vacancies were there it’s a chance for the party and the area more importantly to renew and try breed new blood into the Chamber,” Shane admitted to The Clare Echo.
Cllr Nagle has since given “100 percent support to my campaign”, Talty confirmed. “He is a neighbourly friend, he’s living in Ennistymon and I know him all my life, he would have been a friend of the family over the years, I probably wouldn’t have made the decision to contest if I didn’t have his support and hopefully the support of a lot of his base. I spoke to Cllr Hillery on a number of occasions and hopefully I’ll get a similar level of support in Miltown Malbay direction”.
Although he only became a party member in the last year, Shane comes from strong Fianna Fáil stock. His late father Francie served as secretary of the Comhairle Ceanntar in North Clare and the Lahinch Cumann for many years, “He would have been a go to guy on the ground for the candidates be it local or national elections for this part of the constituency,” the thirty five year old recalled.
On the Thursday of the St Patricks weekend, representatives of the party’s National Constituency Committee interviewed prospective candidates. On why he felt his selection was approved, the former Ennistymon CBS student surmised, “I think that idea of being a young candidate and a step towards the future was number one and my location in terms of the population of the constituency there’s a strong population base around in the heartland of Ennistymon from Liscannor, Lahinch, Ennistymon right down to Inagh and Miltown Malbay comes into that now. From the nature of my own business I meet a lot of people every week so it’s a good starting point”.
“I would love to have been selected two, three or four weeks sooner it seems to have dragged for a long time before the final decision was made, I’d imagine that they are organised enough to fight and it will be a tight campaign, it will be have to be compact,” he added.
Both Joe Killeen and Martin O’Loghlen join him on the party ticket, electing all three in the four seat constituency is “highly unlikely” according to Talty. “It’s a competitive field, it would be incredibly challenging for Fianna Fáil to bring 3 seats, it will come to a real battle for the last seat or two and on a particular good day you could maybe bring 3 seats but I would see it as a highly unlikely, it’s quite likely that one of the three of us will lose out. The battle on a personal level is to try and be higher up the pecking order when it comes to eliminations”.