The voting public in Longford, it seems, want local TDs to move away from local issues by focusing on national concerns and in particular bringing disgraced bankers before the courts. That was the common theme on the doorsteps of Longford town last week when the Leader canvassed local opinion.
The first door the Leader called to was answered by Tommy Cowen who was unequivocal in his support for Peter Kelly.
“I definitely am (voting for Peter Kelly),” he said with his arms folded. “Peter Kelly has done more and as much as any TD has done for people in this area. Peter Kelly is a very wise man who has been in business all his life. They (Kelly family) have done an awful lot for the poor people of Longford down through the years that people forget. You don’t have to tell him (Mr Kelly) about the problems in Longford, he knows what they are.”
A short distance up the road, a man who asked for his name not to be published said he was encouraged by proposals put forward by Sinn Fein.
“I would nearly always vote Sinn Fein. I might have given Fianna Fail number two but not this time,” he said.
Perched on a leather sofa as he looked out on to his back garden, his demenour suddenly changed when the topic of conversation veered towards the economy and reckless lending patterns.
“I think it is crazy the way these fellas are getting away with it. If it was in America they would have been locked up long ago,” he said.
A short distance away a young mother said she had been quietly taken with Labour candidate Mae Sexton and Labour’s election manifesto in general.
“I would be impressed with Mae,” she quickly replied, before turning her attentions to the broader financial climate. “I think it is absolutely disgraceful the way things are. I think it is terrible for the country and for people like me who have young children.”
An unsuccessful candidate four years ago, Sinn Fein’s Paul Hogan was one name which cropped up at a number of doors. Brian Murphy branded the sitting government as “traitors” and called on Mr Hogan to lobby for a radical shake up of Irish immigration laws.
“ I did vote Fianna Fail in the past to my regret. I didn’t at the last one (election) as I was beginning to smell a rat,” he said.
Further up the road, Patricia said her one wish was to see her daughter return from Australia after she was forced to emigrate two years ago.
“I think at this stage, it’s not about local issues, it’s about the country,” she said despondently. “I want the people who have ruined the country held responsible. I am very annoyed about that and it’s very hard to take when you are struggling yourself and having to pay this levy (universal health insurance). I just want my daughter back home from Australia.”