The findings from a recent survey conducted by Fianna Fáil were presented to Micheál Martin during the party leader’s visit to Longford last week.
Pat O’Rourke and Noel Conway met with Mr Martin to discuss the situation with the by-election and to present the findings which has resulted in a document that is focused on job creation for Co Longford.
“We met with Micheál Martin with two main focuses - the local election and to ensure that all 10 Fianna Fáil candidates are elected in Co Longford and the by-election, and what happens next,” said Mr O’Rourke. “We were told that the Election Committee had convened to discuss the matter. Our aim is to have a majority on Longford Co Council following the local elections and to implement the job creation programme which we included in our survey.”
Mr O’Rourke went on to say that lack of IDA investment and immigration were the main factors in determining the importance of Longford people “doing it for themselves” and indicated that one of the first jobs for the new council later this year would be to have the IDA present at a meeting at the invitation of Fianna Fáil to discuss a major investment programme for the county. “We have a time frame on this and we want jobs for the people of LOngford; the people of Longford want jobs,” Mr O’Rourke continued.
“Micheál Martin was very impressed with the document we gave him; it is unique to Longford and something that he had not come across before, and we received very positive feedback from him in relation to that.”
Now that the dust has settled over the by-election with the party running Athlone-based councillor, Angeus O’Rourke, Mr O’Rourke added, “the focus for us has always been on the local elections, and it is genuinely the view of the people that is was insensitive of the Fine Gael party to hoist this by-election on the constituency in the first place”.
“It is happening now and the by-election is an opportunity for the people of Longford and this constituency to display their annoyance at the Fine Gael/Labour Government and what it has done to rural Ireland. Longford has lost so much under this government, including the VEC headquarters and the Rural Transport Scheme - both of these have gone to Westmeath.”
The Local and European Elections will take place on May 23 next and the by-election will also be held on that day. All boxes will be opened and tallied in Kenagh the following morning, however the local election count will then move to the GAA Complex in Newtownforbes and the count for the European Elections will take place in Castlebar.