09 Aug 2022

Parish Pump: Race to Dáil has been uneventful, forgetful and down right dull

Parish Pump: Race to Dáil has been uneventful, forgetful and down right dull

* Well, this is it folks.

Less than four weeks after it was first called by outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, general election 2020 is finally here.

Depending on your interest in these electoral bouts, the climax to this weekend's vote has been arguably one of the more forgettable of campaigns.

There have been few, if any, major talking points of note either locally or nationally and certainly none of the 'postergate' ructions that characterised its 2016 equivalent.

On that occasion, we even had the Gardaí involved as they looked into a dispute over leaflets between then Sinn Féin candidate Paul Hogan and Fine Gael TD James Bannon.

Hogan, at the time, alleged that one of Bannon’s canvassers had been spotted removing Sinn Féin leaflets from letterboxes in a Ballymahon estate.

Hogan said he confronted Bannon over the incident and said the canvasser in question had pockets “bulging with leaflets”.

One national newspaper even managed to capture the Legan based TD sitting inside a garda patrol car as the row gathered legs in the lead up to polling day.

The best part of four years on, the campaign trail has been decidedly low key with not so much as a glove or dog bite being landed on the hands of any of the heavy hitters vying for a seat.

They say a week is a long time in politics.

From the evidence of GE2020, the past three weeks have been painfully slow.

* Flaherty and Carrigy set for big screen?

Social media is without doubt one of the main avenues in which to get your message across.

And true to form, Fianna Fáil's Joe Flaherty and Micheál Carrigy of Fine Gael have certainly taken up that baton with particular zest over the past number of weeks.

Both have released videos on their respective Facebook pages, each appealing to the wider electorate to return Longford's Dáil set which it lost in 2016.

The latter has put forward the need for a TD with 'substance, experience and ability' while his Fianna Fáil rival has released a series of videos dealing with local topics of interest under the overriding banner of 'making Longford matter'.

Though many pundits and certainly various bookmakers would have us believe it is a two horse race between the two, there are ten other candidates (the three sitting TDs excluded) who would argue their credentials are just as worthy and obvious to a potentially discordant electorate.

Whatever happens and whether or not Longford voters choose to exercise the ghost of 2016 and re-elect a Longford TD, all will be revealed over the course of the next seven days.

That is, of course, we avoid 'The Siege of Kenagh Part II'.

Please, oh please, let's all hope we avoid that unmerciful possibility.

Birthday boys looking to have their cake and eat it

In the midst of all the tooings and froings on the hustings, Fianna Fáil's Robert Troy and Fine Gael Cllr Paul Ross celebrated their birthdays in recent days.

Pump noticed a distinct lack of birthday bumps being handed out, however.

Rest assured lads, this reporter will be in Athlone this weekend to do the obligatories come hell or political high water!

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