Count attracts supporters both young and old

For some last Saturday’s count was a new experience. For others it was just another tense political play-off as candidates and their supporters waited patiently to learn their fate.

For some last Saturday’s count was a new experience. For others it was just another tense political play-off as candidates and their supporters waited patiently to learn their fate.

Kenagh pensioner William Jones fell into the latter category. Standing quietly against the side wall of St Dominic’s Community Centre on Saturday evening, the 88-year-old great grandfather didn’t take long in making his political feelings known.

“It’s dragging out isn’t it?” he revealed when the Leader caught up with him shortly before midnight.

Pointing out he had a keen observed for several hours as counting continued into the early hours of Sunday morning, he spoke of his entrenched association with Fine Gael “Since 1945, I have supported Fine Gael and I voted for Sean MacEoin that year, he said.

The conversation then took a more humourous turn when local councillor Paddy Belton, hunched across a makeshift counting desk, comically asked: “Were you a blueshirt?” causing the friendly father of three to shout: “I was.”

Pointing to his daughter-in-law, Emily who was within earshot and a former school mate of Enda Kenny, Mr Jones wrote off Fianna Fail’s chances of taking the fourth seat in Longford/Westmeath just as outgoing TD Peter Kelly’s votes were being distributed.

“Kelly won’t get that (last seat) or Troy I think. I think we (Fine Gael) might get three (seats),” he confidently stated.

Mr Jones, who turns 89 in April looked on with two generations of his family as counting entered prepared to enter a second day in Kenagh.

Quizzed about his own background and especially his devotion to agriculture, Mr Jones laughed: “I am a gentleman farmer. I have three sons, ten grandchildren and I have two great grandchildren. Now put that in your story.”