Mannix Flynn to stand as an Independent in local elections

 

THE WRITER and actor Mannix Flynn is to contest the local elections in Dublin next June.

Mr Flynn says he will be standing “very much as an Independent” in the southeast inner city ward.

“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are like juggernauts finding it very difficult to manoeuvre in the current circumstances. I intend to manoeuvre around them very fast,” he told The Irish Times.

According to the 52-year-old Dubliner, Ireland’s obsession with its failure is making the country a laughing stock internationally.

“I’m saying to people that rather than staying stuck to their problems, they should let go and come into the business of solutions.”

He promises to “lead by example” and says his life history can serve as a “template” for others.

“It’s very clear that a lot of people now are having difficulties not unlike the difficulties I had in my life and need to feel they can make a difference.”

He plans to campaign on the issues of “homes and homelessness” and the building of real communities. He is critical of “so-called activists” who claim to be working on behalf of tenants but are actually “exploiting the exploited”.

The State’s drugs policies have failed, he says, because they criminalise addiction.

“The State is happy to hand out needles to addicts but takes no responsibility for them when they inject.”

He suggests a pilot scheme for the controlled distribution of heroin to addicts.

Mr Flynn, who grew up on York Street in the city centre, is based in Co Kerry but has taken up residence on Dublin’s quays to fight his campaign. “Once you do your job, it doesn’t matter where you live,” he contends.

In his youth, he spent 18 months in the Christian Brother-run industrial school in Letterfrack, Co Galway, where he and other inmates were subjected to abuse.

After further scrapes with the law, he wrote an autobiographical novel Nothing to Say in 1983 and has produced numerous plays and art installations since.

Last year, he resigned briefly from Aosdána in a row over issues arising from the Cathal Ó Searcaigh controversy.

Other targets for his ire include “pointless, phoney and pseudo- participatory” community arts initiatives and the funding of art from development levies.

This is the writer’s first try at getting elected but he says he has plenty of political experience from his involvement in the arts and his membership of Aosdána.

He expects to run his campaign on “trust, commitment, faith and a few fundraisers”.