Election 2016. A large crowd, estimated at 150 people, were in the Corbett Court in Kilworth on Friday night to witness the official launch of Cllr Noel McCarthy’s General Election campaign.
Former president of the GAA and current MEP for the south constituency Seán Kelly, was guest speaker on the night. Cllr McCarthy is one of three Fine Gael candidates in the four-seat Cork East constituency, alongside deputies David Stanton and Tom Barry.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Kelly spoke highly of Cllr McCarthy, describing him as ‘one of the very best, from a personality point of view, from an energy point of view, from a back up point of view, and above all from an integrity point of view’.
“He’s a man I heard a lot about before I met him, because of the good reputation he has everywhere. I was told he was a people’s man and he is certainly all that. The crowd here tonight is testament to that,” he said.
“He has a wonderful personality and is a great worker, he is a practical man. These are the things you need particularly in politics today. Sometimes you hear a lot of people talking, they mightn’t follow through, and a lot of people mightn’t be practical.”
Mr Kelly described Cllr McCarthy as a public representative that the public could ‘trust and associate with’, and lauded his work on voluntary bodies within the locality.
This general election, he continued, is the ‘most important election we’ve had’, citing the need to continue the recovery and ensure it reaches everyone. He referred to a leaflet produced by Cllr McCarthy which highlighted three key priorities for the future; job creation, increased investment in public services and making work pay.
“I think if we follow these three points in Noel’s manifesto, and get re-elected, then this country will be set up for the future,” he said.
In turn, Cllr McCarthy thanked Mr Kelly for attending the launch and praised him for his own record in politics. “You’ve always worked hard, you’re honest, dedicated and they’re the virtues I want to take forward to Dáil Eireann; to be an honest, hard-working TD for the people.”
He said, once he was first elected to Cork County Council and Fermoy Town Council in 2009, it was always an ambition to ‘make the step up’ and represent his constituency in Leinster House. “When I got re-elected in 2014 that ambition was still there, to run for Dáil Eireann, to put my name forward and take up the challenge. Since I was first elected, my philosophy has always been the provision of hard work, that’s something I want to carry on.”
“Fermoy hasn’t had a Dáil representative for 29 years, I think that’s a very long time to be without it. Mrya Barry, and her late father, did immense work not just for Fermoy but the whole of Cork East – now is the time, and I’m passionate about this, that Fermoy and Cork East will have a Fermoy voice in Leinister House again.”
Cllr McCarthy is a native of Cobh and is where much of his family still reside and he said if elected, he intends to open a constituency office in the town. “Cobh hasn’t had a TD in 19 years, so I think I can do both. And I can also serve the rest of the constituency as good as Fermoy and Cobh. Because, as I said, my philosophy is the provision of hard work.”
Cllr McCarthy went on: “Yes, the recovery hasn’t been felt by everybody yet, but what is the alternative? To me, there is no alternative. Do you go back to the ways of Fianna Fáil and look at the mess they put us in? Do we try and put up with a coalition of Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil? I don’t think that’s the answer. Do we try and leave it to Independents? Probably great individual people, but they can’t work together collectively, so that’s not the answer.
“I think this government will be re-elected because they have done the job. People have made sacrifices during the past five years, and now is the time to repay the people that made these sacrifices,” pointing to healthcare, job creation and transport infrastructure as further key issues for the next government. Election 2016
He thanked all those who made the journey to attend the launch, including those who spoke on the night – chairperson of Fermoy Fine Gael William Lonergan; Leader of Fine Gael in Cork County Council Kevin Murphy; Fine Gael councillor in Fermoy Municipal District Kay Dawson and former Cork county councillor Pa O’Driscoll. Also in attendance was former councilor, Liam O’Doherty. Election 2016
He lastly thanked the many members of Fine Gael branches across Cork East, stressing his willingness to co-operate with the branches going forward, as well as his supportive friends and family.
Cllr Kevin Murphy, in his speech, described Cllr McCarthy as ‘a pleasure to work with’ and ‘a very, very hard working member of the Council’. He highlighted his colleague’s large personal vote, which signifies the ‘huge power of good’ he has brought to his jurisdiction.