We may have 15 months to go until General Election 2016 but councillors across Longford-Westmeath are already declaring their interest.
Local Independent councillor Michael O’Brien said this week that he will consider running in the next General Election.
“Every councillor aspires to be a TD and it is something I will obviously consider in consultation with my campaign team. We need a TD that actually gives people a real voice, a voice free from strict party whips.
“I think the way the Dáil currently operates is nothing short of a joke. The strict party whip system totally paralyses TDs from voting in a way they would actually prefer. If an opposition party or Independent TD puts forward a good idea it will be automatically shot down every time because the government parties will vote against it. This is not the work of a constructive parliament, it’s the work of a dictatorship, and we’ve been accepting it for far too long now,” he said.
Cllr O’Brien might be one of the first councillors in Westmeath to declare interest in the next General Election, but in the other half of the constituency three Longford councillors have already spoken of their interest in running. These include Fianna Fáil councillors Seamus Butler and Pat O’Rourke as well as Independent councillor Gerry Warnock.
The next General Election will be held in early 2016 at the latest.