Unique video captures Reynolds electoral success

The late Albert Reynolds. Photo: PJ O'Reilly
A rare insight into the election of Albert Reynolds as Taoiseach more than 20 years ago has resurfaced on DVD.

A rare insight into the election of Albert Reynolds as Taoiseach more than 20 years ago has resurfaced on DVD.

The footage, captured by the late amateur cameraman John Joe Martin of Aughamore Lower, Aughnacliffe, shows the former Fianna Fail leader return to a hero’s welcome in north Longford following his electoral triumph in 1992.

Many of those images, which date back to Mr Reynolds’s promotion to Taoiseach in early February, were never witnessed before due to a strike at RTE.

A couple of weeks ago however, supporters turned out in large numbers at a crowded Murtagh’s Bar in Aughnacliffe to catch a glimpse of the Rooskey native on his triumphant 16-leg village tour of the county.

Many of those who featured alongside the late Mr Reynolds are also now deceased, something long time Fianna Fail party member Benny Reid was keen to impress upon this week.

“It does indeed stir the nostalgic ducts to see again how endeared Albert Reynolds was to people such as the late Pete Gunshinan, T.P.Martin, Larry Oates, Brian Ginty, Mrs. Grogan from Granard, Dan and Peggy Kiernan, Mickey Kelly, Johnny McCabe, Pee Cosgrove together with local curate Fr. McKiernan and Church of Ireland rector, Canon Jack Watson who had come up from Arva to be with him that day,” said Mr Reid.

Several other famous names personified by the likes of the late Dr Peter Herety, Ned “the County” Reilly, Mickey Doherty, Brian Lynch and John James McCabe were similarly captured.

But perhaps the most striking aspect taken from the hour long recording was the remarkable impromptu speech Mr Reynolds gave to voters in Aughnacliffe that same afternoon.

And to mark the occasion, much like plans centred on Longford’s Mall Complex, moves are afoot to erect a tree at the nearby Leebeen Amenity Park in Mr Reynolds’s memory.