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Young voters not in touch with political changes

A snapshot of the crowds that turned up at last week's public meeting in Edgeworthstown. Photo By Shelley Corcoran.

A snapshot of the crowds that turned up at last week's public meeting in Edgeworthstown. Photo By Shelley Corcoran.

Edgeworthstown’s lack of political representation after last month’s local elections could have been averted if more young people had voted, a meeting has heard.

Pauline Flood was one of several local residents to speak out on an issue which has generated plenty of attention and local debate in recent days.

She said one of the main causes for the lower than expected turnout was because many young people simply weren’t tuned in.

“A lot of 18-year-olds didn’t vote because they didn’t understand the boundary (changes) and the elections,” she told the audience at The Park House Hotel.

Ms Flood said a hefty percentage of young voters were not even registered when polling day arrived on May 23 last.

“If we could have solved that problem, there might have been a lot more votes in Edgeworthstown,” she contended.

A number of other local homeowners spoke too, some with unease over what the future may hold and some with a determination to talk up the town’s fortunes.

There were contributions also from councillors including the new Co Mayor Mark Casey as well as Colm Murray, Peggy Nolan, Micheal Carrigy and meeting organiser Frank Kilbride.

Former Fine Gael councillor Victor Kiernan also attended the meeting.

Mr Kilbride pledged, despite his own election defeat to continue representing the wider Edgeworthstown area into the future.

“While I am no longer an elected representative, I will be more than pleased to give you the benefit of my 15 years of experience,” he said.

Both Mr Kilbride and local man Tom Victory (Fianna Fail ) failed to secu re re-election to Longford County Council last month.

As revealed by the Leader last week, Mr Victory has agreed to stay on in a voluntary capacity as a local area representative for Fianna Fail.

Speaking at last week’s meeting Mr Victory he had no axe to grind over his own electoral defeat, while revealing his new post was akin to that of a community activist.

 

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