Former County Board Chair announces intention to run in election

The latest candidate to put their name forward for the next General Election says north Tipperary is crying out for more representatives in the Dáil

Former County Board Chairman Donie Shanahan this week announced his intention to stand as an independent in the next election.

The overwhelming majority of the candidates already declared in the Tipperary constituency are in the southern half of the county.

Of the five sitting TDs just one – Labour’s Alan Kelly – is in the far north of Tipperary.

Independent Michael Lowry and Fianna Fáil’s Jackie Cahill are in Mid-Tipp while Independent’s Mattie McGrath and Seamus Healy are based in Clonmel.

The two Fine Gael candidates – Garret Ahearn and Mary Newman – are also in South Tipp while Siobhán Ambrose – who has been flagged by Jackie Cahill as the second Fianna Fáil candidate – is another with a Clonmel base.

Toomevara native Donie Shanahan – who this week threw his hat in the ring – says this shows there needs to be a better balance.

Rural issues are always to the fore when it comes to election campaigns.

Be it rural post offices, the lack of GP’s or the closure of Garda Stations in smaller towns and villages, candidates can be sure the topic will be raised on the doorstep.

While acknowledging the importance of such issues, the independent candidate says maybe sometimes we overplay the urban rural divide.