Turlough 'Pott' McGovern celebrates his election to Granard MD after topping the poll PICTURE: MICHELLE GHEE
Hot Pott: Liam Cosgrove talks to Turlough Pott McGovern
All the focus may have been on the gruelling length of the 2019 local and European elections, but in Granard only one talking point and more pointedly one candidate dominated.
Turlough ‘Pott’ McGovern was that focal point as the Independent farmer swept all before him to top the north Longford area poll.
The local community activist, who had been banging the pre-election drum for “real change” in the weeks leading up to last Friday’s polling day certainly followed through on those urgings as he claimed almost 20 per cent of the area’s first preference share with 1,267 number one votes.
And while it may have taken even some more seasoned political experts by surprise, for the man at the centre of it all the outcome was one which was not entirely unexpected.
“I wouldn’t say I appeared overnight,” he said following his election triumph on Sunday night.
“I’ve been knocking around for a few years with the football scene.
“I suppose with no political background or anything, it was a quare thing to take on of course. We decided a couple of months ago we’d try for it and we put a team together - and a very good team, as the end results show.
“It’s like a football match. You can’t do it without a good team and we have a phenomenal background team and I can’t thank them enough.”
His voice appearing to get noticeably more inaudible as the enormity of the past few days took its toll, Mr McGovern said he never had any personal ambitions to not just match but surpass sitting and more established campaigners in the Granard political pecking order.
“When we started out, we weren’t talking about topping the poll,” he said.
“We were talking about winning a seat and, as things went on it just went from there.”
As for whether the resounding success of his political rags to riches story had now placed him in the enviable position of being a possible power brooker in the make up of the next council, Mr McGovern was staying typically tight lipped.
“Ah no, I didn’t talk to anyone yet.
“The thing is let the whole thing chill down and we’ll put on a few thinking caps and see whether we can strike oil again.”
Given the breathtaking events of the past seven days or so, striking political oil for a second time might not be beyond the realms of possibility.