The longest serving councillor on Galway County Council is dipping his toe into the national political spectrum once again. Well known Ardrahan representative Michael Fahy officially announced on Tuesday that he will run as an Independent candidate in the 2016 General Election.
Councillor Fahy, who is known to be an extremely colourful character, has held his seat on the local authority since 1979. He was first elected under the banner of Fianna Fail but subsequently left the party. He unsuccessfully contested a Dáil seat once before as an Independent candidate in 1987.
The 63 year old says he most likely would have run in the 2011 General Election, if not for a high profile court case which he was involved in at the time.
It is certainly going to be a hotly contested, and intriguing election in the Galway East constituency. There are four sitting TDs representing the area - Fine Gael’s Ciaran Cannon and Paul Connaughton Jnr and Fianna Fáil’s Michael Kitt and new party recruit Colm Keaveney. However the constituency has now been reduced to a three seater following a revision of boundaries.
Speaking to the Galway Advertiser Michael Fahy said he believes the General Election is wide open. “Nobody’s seat is safe, especially following the boundary changes, it is going to make things very interesting. I have never seen a greater opening for the people of South Galway. There has not been a TD based in this area since before Frank Fahy departed to Galway West.”
Cllr Fahy is one of the most vocal members of the county council and is a passionate advocate for rural Ireland. He recently announced himself to be fully in favour of the proposed new city bypass as he believes it will have a majorly positive effect on the region’s economy. Another issue which is at the top of his agenda, if elected to Dáil Éireann, is the long running flooding problems in South Galway.
Cllr Fahy says he will not be aligning himself to the Shane Ross led Independent Alliance or Lucinda Creighton’s Renua, as he “won’t be selling my soul to anybody.”