1985 Local Elections Roundup in Cashel
There are twenty candidates contesting the nine seats in the Cashel Urban District Council in the forthcoming Local Elections. Fianna Fail have six candidates, including outgoing Councillors Sean McCarthy, William Mclnerney and Donie Feehan. Fine Gael have four candidates, including out going Councillors Dick Wood and Richard Wood. Labour have two candidates, Mrs. Maureen O'Dongohue and John O'Byrne. Sean Hill is contesting the election for the Workers Party. Michael Browne is going forward for Sinn Fein. There are six Independents including Dinny O'Brien, who was elected in the last election on the Labour ticket and his uncle, Paddy O'Brien, who was elected in the past on the Labour ticket also. Pakie Leahy is travelling for a second time as a socialist candidate. The other Independents are John O'Dwyer, Tom Maher and Milo Fogarty.
Ten of the candidates are standing for election for the first time. One of them is Eddie O'Riordan, who is on the FF ticket. Eddie lives in Deerpark and is a married man with two daughters. He was born in the Green as was his wife, the former Mary Ryan. Eddie has been a member of the Cashel Cumann for nearly three years and is a faithful party man.
Another FF candidate travelling for the first time is Mattie Finnerty. Mattie is a secondary teacher from Tuam and lives in the Green with his wife Rosalie. He's been in Cashel for ten years and has been a member of the local Cumann since he arrived. He's also a member of the Comhairle Ceanntair. Mattie's interests include hurling and he has been largely responsible for the succsses of the C.B.S. over the past number of years. He's also a member of Cashel King Cormac's. Another interest is in the affairs of his own union, the A.S.T.I. He is a former chairman of the Tipperary branch and a member of· the Central Executive Council. Mattie is interested in youth and unemployment and is concerned that the town is often passed over when it comes to job creation. He's hoping to see many Cashel people employed in the building of the new three million Community School in the town.
The third FF first time runner is Martin Browne. Martin lives in Windmill and is married with a young family of four. His wife is the former Annette O'Connor from the Green. Martin himself was born in Mockler's Hill in the same house as Charles J. Kickham. He came into Cashel in 1973 and has been a member of the local Cumann since. He is also a member of the Comhairle Ceanntair and of the prestigious Dail Ceanntair committee, which was set up to re organise the party in South Tipperary. Martin's interests include horses and cars. A garage owner by occupation, he was a founder member of Tipperary Raceway.
The Fine Gael party have got two new candidates in the field, John Cahill and Dick Corrigan. John is an out and out Fine Gael man 'indoctrinated in party politics since birth', as he puts it himself. Presently a member of the Cashel branch of the party he belonged to. branches in Dublin and Golden formerly. He is maried to Angela O'Meara from Golden and they have four children. John has a lot of lively ideas. The protection of tourism is his biggest aim. According to him the Rock is not money for the town. He wants to get the tourist traffic down to the town so that visitors will have to walk by local shops. As well, he believes that commercial and public bodies are not properly exploiting Government projects available for employment schemes. Another priority of his is to see a footpath built to the cemetery and Leahy Park. Trained as an accountant John's long term aim is to set up an office in the Green where he was born. At present he is fully occupied developing the Folk Village, which is a logical occupation for a man who was a founder member and secretary of the Cashel Heritage Society.
Dick Corrigan is a Kildare man, who is relatively new to Cashel, though not to Co. Tipperary because he lived for nine years in Ballytarsna, before moving into the town. A party man all his life he was 'born into Fine Gael in a place where Gerry Sweetman was God'. He was a member of the Boherlahan branch before becoming active in the Cashel branch about a year ago. As a manager with Roadstone Ltd., his big priority is the attraction of industry to the town of Cashel. He is married with three children and is presently managing the Roadstone Plant at Cahir Abbey.
New on the Labour ticket is John O'Byrne formerly of the Rock and now living in Oliver Plunkett Park. He is maried to the former Marianne Fogarty of the Green and they have two children. John's father was twenty five years in local politics and John himself has been a member of the Cashel branch of the Labour party since 1963. He is a vice chairman of the Cashel Town Tenants and has worked hard for people who wanted repairs to their houses. Unemployed himself he knows the hardship of that position and he will work hard for the alleviation of the lot of the unemployed. Because there are so many youth unemployed he would like to see more amenities for them. He would like to see work distributed on the basis of merit and to have big families given priority on local ventures. Because he was born ouside the present town boundaries he has no vote and will work to have the town boundary extended. He would like to see a well balanced Council with all sections of the town fairly represented.
The Workers Party
This is the first time for the Workers Party to run a candidate in Cashel and the party's standard bearer is Sean Hill, a teacher at Ferry house Clonmel. A native of the town Sean spent some years in England and married Angela Luen from Maidstone, Kent, who is of French Dutch Welsh decent. They have five children.
Sean has the interests of all working people at heart; whether they are white collar or blue collar all who are in the PAYE net. He is also interested in all the workers who are unemployed and will work for a more active creation of jobs in Cashel. In this connection he would like to see a more active roll for the Local Authority, using local resourses for job creation. Already the party has established an Advice Centre in the town to look after the interests of working people. This meets once a week in Holy Family Hall, on Friday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30. This work would be given greater impetus if the party had an elected representative. The Advice Centre helps people on such matters as rent, rates, entitlements, taxation, etc.
There are a number of Independents standing for the first time. One of the most colourful is Tom Maher of Thurlesbeg. Tom has no previous electoral experience, no party affiliation and no wife. He is a farmer, He has one priority: the youth. He calls them the lonely youth. They are lonely and isolated because of lack of communication between them and public officials and ordinary citizens. He will try to bridge that communications gap by getting more youth in control of local affairs. Otherwise, he believes, there will be alienation and possibly violence between the ages. According to him 'the red tape of bureaucracy has left the majority of youth totally bewildered.' He is convinced that commonsense rather than experience is more important in political matters. Tom is doing a personal canvass rather than relying on political literature.
John O'Dwyer of Dominick Street is disillusioned with Fine Gael and is going as Independent party. He is for the old style Fine' Gael and his heroes are Liam Cosgrove and James Dillon. He believes that the party has left the raising of moral issues like divorce and contraception. According to him there is too much confrontation with the church and he doesn't like the way ministers contradict bishops. John has never been a member of the Cashel branch of the Fine Gael party but he is proud of the tradition within the party that went to Spain in the thirties. His father fought there with General Eoin O'Duffy and the Irish Brigade from November 1936 to June 1937. John is unmarried and unemployed and has been involved in the catering industry. He is doing voluntary work for the Social Services at the moment and has a Social and Scientific education from Kilroy's College. He sees his future in that area. John O'Dwyer is for Local progress for the young and the old and the unemployed.
Milo Fogarty is a well known figure in the town of Cashel, especially in music circles. Born on Camas Road he lived in Oliver Plunkett Park until recently when he moved across to Spafield Crescent. A married man with seven children Milo is concerned about the erosion of the rights of house occupiers and the recent imposition of local charges. These charges have made life difficult for many young families and his avowed intention is to fight them. He believes that these charges will increase in the future unless something is done about them.
Post Advertiser, June 1985, Vol 1 No 2