Some things better left unsaid as Mullen pitches to wider audience

Rónán Mullen pledges to take on Brussels for ailing rural communities

 Senator Rónán Mullen and Senator Fergal Quinn in Navan shopping centre  canvassing for votes for Mr Mullen  in the European elections. Photograph: Alan Betson

Senator Rónán Mullen and Senator Fergal Quinn in Navan shopping centre canvassing for votes for Mr Mullen in the European elections. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sat, May 10, 2014, 01:00

“I’m not in anyone’s pocket,” says Senator Rónán Mullen to a couple in Navan shopping centre as he strives to get himself “more well known” among the voting public.

“I want to address the areas where the EU interferes too much in your life.”

They smiled and took his leaflet.

Rónán is fighting a new campaign these days. He is devoting his considerable energy, conviction and resources to the task of winning a seat in the European Parliament.

At the heart of this endeavour is his strong belief in The Right to Life of the Unsaid during Election Time.

In this regard, the Independent candidate for Midlands- North-West is more mainstream than some people might want to accept.


No-go areas
Because there are areas that most politicians don’t want to visit when campaigning.

This is not a geographical thing. It’s about things that are best left unsaid. When trying to win votes, why inform or remind people of controversial subjects that could potentially alienate them?

If they don’t ask, sure they don’t need to know.

Keep it positive.

Until, as Mullen sees it, “the media from Dublin” come along with their “obsessions” and start asking about issues that simply “don’t come up on the doorsteps”.

He’ll get no argument from the various party leaders currently trying to scatter fairy dust around the country while dodging awkward questions.

They all call themselves “conviction” politicians, but nobody really takes that too seriously.

Mullen, on the other hand, is all about conviction. The socially conservative Senator, who voted against civil partnership and vigorously opposed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, is always happy to say how his deep Catholic faith informs his thinking.

In Leinster House, despite some stiff competition, Rónán is the market leader when it comes to family values.

Which is why it’s a big surprise to find not one mention of his career-defining involvement with the pro-life movement on his campaign leaflet. Observers of life in Kildare Street would hardly recognise the Rónán they know from the Seanad chamber.

But in the battle for a seat in this huge, 15-county constituency, he knows he must cast his net wider to have any chance.

He has no need to trumpet his anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage credentials.

“I know I have that vote.”

And he has Senator Feargal Quinn too. His fellow Senator has generously travelled to Navan for the afternoon to help his colleague.

Rónán is a smart cookie and wisely coasts on the celebrity coat-tails of the popular Quinn, the country’s best-known and best-loved grocer.