STATEMENT OF MICHAEL McGRATH ON ELECTION DEFEAT IN CALLAN-THOMASTOWN.
“We’ll save Ireland from the madness yet!”
In fact I am somewhat relieved that I won’t have to attend boring Council meetings for the remainder of my days. I am probably the most relieved candidate of all at not having been elected. I hate petty bureaucracy too, as everybody can see from The Kilkenny Journal.
I don’t even see the need for county councils – a view I shared with a good friend, the late Minister Jim Gibbons and others.
I was beaten before I started as I was limited in canvassing by not being a driver, so I could hardly get around except for buses and lifts from a friend. I could afford a car but don’t really need to start driving at my age.
People told me that they were going to vote for local candidates and not someone from the city! Before long I realised I was way out of my own area, out of my comfort zone, they didn’t seem to like someone like me parachuting in. Through such feedback I knew I was never going to be elected out there in the sticks. They don’t vote for blow-ins like me in Callan, Thomastown or Graiguenamanagh!
I didn’t go forward in the city as I did not want to split the anti-mosque vote, with two anti-mosque candidates already in the field on both sides of the city. I wanted to give them a chance and happily one has been elected. Beyond that there were absolutely no ties between us except friendship and mutual respect, as will always exist – we were no “party” or anything like that. In fact we had little or no contact during the campaign – you’re talking about three highly independent Independents!
I am delighted to see my old friends, John Coonan and Martin Brett, back on the Council too, having lost their seats the last time due to an unnatural division of the city into two halves for electoral purposes – that’s one of the more daft things Phil Hogan did, though he doesn’t usually do daft things. He got rid of the town councils too and I wanted the restoration of Callan Town Council for a burgeoning town of six thousand population.
I also wanted to be elected to try to expedite the construction of the new hospital at St. Columba’s in Thomastown where my own mother died amid uninhabitable conditions, like so many others, as I saw personally, nearly five years ago. I could be there myself yet, God forbid. That cause is dear to my heart. Hopefully those elected will take it to heart too.
There’s millions too in flood relief money “allocated” but not paid out for Graiguenamanagh, Thomastown, Inistioge and Ballyhale and I had hoped to be instrumental in getting all those works expedited in emergency too. Hopefully those elected will do it now.
There was very severe trolling from a tiny minority telling the most audacious lies about me in the dark anonymous caverns of Facebook, some really demented people – including an American woman working in Cartoon Saloon. Those still have mine and other candidate’s utter contempt for their anonymous interference in the democratic process.
I’ve made this statement as there was nothing explanatory about my campaign on local radio, the Kilkenny People or any other media. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to all those who voted for me – keep in touch and we’ll all try to save Ireland from the Madness yet!
God save Ireland!