Independent general election candidate Kevin 'Boxer' Moran pictured on the canvass trail in Longford town last Friday where he met Miranda Moran and Joe McGowan Picture: Shelley Corcoran
If there is one abiding trademark Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has hung his political hat on over the past four years, it’s delivery. And last Friday during a canvass of Longford town it was the one overriding adage which was meted in the direction of the public.
Having opened his visit to the county town with a lengthy meeting with Meán Scoil Mhuire pupils over their desire for a new school, there was a chance to have a sift through the OPW Minister’s election material.
“Look at that,” pointed out Independent Cllr Mark Casey. “How do you mark a man like that? And with two good looking lads on it too.”
The Lanesboro man was sarcastically referring to both himself and Cllr Gerry Warnock, who was also out on the canvass trail.
Following handshakes all round, it was off to local knitwear store, The Baldy Sheep. Inside, proprietor Patricia Cox could be seen dealing with a customer from Leitrim.
“There’s no point in even smiling at her,” she told the Athlone based TD, a remark which the father of two didn’t appear too perturbed by.
“I’m the Minister for the country, not just for Longford,” he responded with typical gusto.
“If there’s one thing I have done for Leitrim is I have delivered money for flooding and other issues and I have very good friends in Leitrim and Micheál Lehane (RTÉ political correspondent) summed it up perfectly the other day when he said Boxer is one of the few ministers that delivered for the country.”
A couple of doors up, Longford man Peter Cassidy took time out from a spot of lunch to shake hands with the outgoing OPW Minister.
“Ah, young Boxer,” shouted Peter cheerfully.
“Sure you don’t have to canvass, you are 1/33 in Paddy Power’s.
“I am a Fianna Fáil man for the past 30 years and you know what I am changing this year.
“You are the only man who has done anything.”
Sitting at the next table, local physiotherapist Miranda Moran exchanged pleasantries with Boxer over the challenges facing the self-employed.
But perhaps the most striking narrative to draw from the afternoon was a brief confab which was had with a group of Welsh visitors. Rather than continue on his merry way, the sitting TD opted to stop and converse.
“Isn’t it great to say hello to the Welsh,” he joked out loud.
“Sure didn’t you beat us in the rugby.
“And when you go back to Wales, you tell them you met the Boxer, one of the few politicians who boxed his way to Dáil Eireann.”
Sporting analogies or no sporting analogies, the man they call ‘the Boxer’ will be hoping to emulate the feat in a little over a week.
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