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14 Aug 2022

Reynolds in bullish form as National Party eye Longford seat

James Reynolds

James Reynolds

He's hung his electoral hat on being Longford's 'radical alternative' and National Party candidate James Reynolds has vowed to execute those credentials to the nth degree if elected to the 33rd Dáil this weekend.

The Ballinalee man has made no secret of his desire to offer up an assertive right-wing approach to the policies espoused by the country's two largest, mainstream parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

And it's a political mantra, Mr Reynolds makes no apologies for as he goes in search of securing the National Party's first ever Dáíl seat inside Leinster House.

In citing how his own campaign trail continues apace “very well”, Mr Reynolds says the choices facing voters on Saturday could shape Longford's socio economic future for years to come.

“The only thing with Longford having no TD is Longford electing the wrong TD,” he says, insisting his indifference to rivalling candidates is positioned more on party as opposed to personal lines.

Love him or loathe his own political affiliation, the former Longford IFA chairman is, if nothing else, steadfast in the principles and ideologies of a party he helped co-found.

Addressing the ongoing beef crisis by introducing far reaching legislation aimed at ensuring Irish farmers obtain a “fairer share” of a market still ravaged by mass protests and division is just one policy measure he hopes to implement after February 8.

The abolition of what he terms the “super quango” that is the HSE and the replacement of the medical card system with a universal model in order to allow all citizens access to private healthcare are other key policy considerations.

And its precisely those types of measures which Mr Reynolds hopes strikes a chord with voters while also helping to divert the spotlight away from recent rascism allegations linked to his party's opposition to so-called mass immigration.

“Some people have accused me of that (racism), he accepts.

“But let me make it clear,I have no issue with immigration, my problem is with mass immigration.”
A recent confrontation with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Edgeworthstown, he contends, was designed purely to highlight those concerns.

Patriotic principles aside, Mr Reynolds has placed a large plank of his election manifesto in ensuring the squeezed middle or “coping classes” are not left behind any longer when it comes to afforbable housing, rolling out more stringent fiscal legislation with Ireland's banking system and attracting i nward investment to the county.

“I don't have a degree in economics but I understand it and that's what this county needs-a strong advocate who knows what needs to be said and to be done, to stand up to the political establishment and to promote Longford's interests.

“That's what I am about and that's what the National Party are about. We are not a one trick pony.”

Given his relatively skimpy 9/2 odds, it's a statement which certainly seems to be gaining credence as polling day looms.

Read also: 'Radical solutions needed' to deal with housing crisis in Longford Westmeath

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