Minister of State, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has paid tribute to the people of Athlone and the constituency of Longford and Westmeath for their support over the last 21 years in the public eye.
Having been initially elected to Leinster House 2016, the former Independent Deputy lost his seat following the General Election counting of votes, placing fifth in the allocated four seat constituency, his non re-election having immediate repercussions for his home town of Athlone who now have no Dáil representation.
“It has been a great honour and privilege to have represented the people of Longford and Westmeath for the past four years both as a TD and more laterally as a Minister of State. In particularly I want to thank the people of Athlone who first elected me back in 1999 and who stayed loyal to me for some 21 years – I hope their trust in me was reflected in the work I did.
“The people of Athlone gave me my first role in public life, as a County Councillor on Westmeath County Council and I am forever grateful to them for their unstinting support and loyalty over the past 21 years of public life.
“I want to sincerely thank everyone who has contacted me in recent days for their good wishes and support, it means a lot to me and my family. It remains to be seen if I will have an opportunity to represent people again and it is something that I will obviously consider if that happens.
“On the night of the count I tried to convey my sense of gratitude to the people of Athlone but I was quite emotional having put my heart and soul into politics for so long and my words did not convey what I was trying to say.
“The campaign was very bruising locally and I knew in my heart and soul that I had given my all but I accept that people wanted change, not personally directed at me, but at successive Governments over the past decade.
“I understand fully why people were upset and how frustrated they were on issues like housing, health and Defence Force pay and conditions.
“Athlone is an army town and I have always fully support our soldiers and the wider Defence Force family. I completely understand the problems facing Defence Force personnel. I did my shouting for them in the background at the highest level. Unfortunately, this work was not always seen.
“I sincerely hope that the people in Athlone will not be forgotten by the next Government, whenever it is formed and by whom,” Minister Moran, who continues in the role of Minister of State until a new Government is created, remarked.