Mayor of Co Cork announces general election candidacy

Two Fine Gael TDs and one Fianna Fáil TD elected in Cork North West in 2011

The mayor of Co Cork, Cllr John Paul O'Shea has announced that he is to run in the forthcoming general election as an Independent candidate in the Cork North West constituency.

Cllr O’Shea (32) said he believed the people of Cork North West needed an independent voice in Dáil Éireann and he believed he could be that voice if elected for the three seat constituency.

Cork North West returned two Fine Gael TDs Michael Creed and Aine Collins as well as Fianna Fáil's Michael Moynihan in the last election and all three are running again.

Joining them in the contest is Fianna Fáil's second candidate, Cllr Aindrias Moynihan, son of former TD Donal Moynihan from Cill na Martra and Sinn Féin first time candidate, Nigel Dennehy.

Cllr O’Shea, who polled 4,374 first preferences or over 20pc of votes in last year’s local elections in the Kanturk-Mallow Electoral Area which lies partly in Cork North West is confident of taking a seat.

A native of Lombardstown in the eastern end of the highly elongated constituency, Cllr O'Shea became the first ever Independent mayor of Cork County in the 116 year history of Cork County Council.

The constituency stretches from Charleville in the north to Ballingeary in the south and includes towns such as Kanturk, Millstreet and Macroom as well as the satellite town of Ballincollig.

Cllr O’Shea said that in his role as a local councillor over the past six years, he had seen the suffering that people have had to endure during the recession in towns and villages across the constituency.

He said that both young and old have suffered as result of the recession and he believed he had the commitment to help the people of the north and west Cork to overcome the challenges they face.

“I strongly believe there is a need for such enthusiasm and commitment on a national level to address the challenges and issues that are facing the people of the Cork North West constituency”.

“The people of Cork North West need a clear and strong Independent voice to represent them in Dáil Eireann. I want to be that voice for the people,” said Cllr O’Shea.

“Historically, Cork North West has elected people from the traditional political parties, with seldom an Independent candidate even appearing on the ballot paper.

“I want to offer the people of Cork North West this choice and irrespective of where you come from in the constituency, it is my intention, if elected, to be your independent voice in Dáil Eireann”.

“I look forward to meeting and engaging with the people of Cork North West over the coming weeks and discussing with the electorate the challenges facing Cork North West.”

Aside from candidates from the main political parties, Cllr O’Shea will also be competing with fellow independent candidate, Stephen O’Riordan from Millstreet.

The brother of disability rights activist, Joanne O’Riordan whose story, he in the highly-acclaimed documentary, No Limbs, No Limits, Mr O’Riordan is also a first time general election candidate.