Let’s save this country for our chidlren

It’ll be great to get this election out of the way. After months and months of political turmoil, the Irish psyche is quite distressed, Our heads have taken a pounding about five year plans and moving forward and looking backwards and for the greater good and in the national interest, and now we’re at the stage where we’re just wishing that they’d all shag off back under the rock whence they crawled.

We’ve had it up to here with it all and soon, thankfully, not soon enough, the whole thing will be over and the country will feel that a sort of change has taken place, anew beginning has been energised and with it, there will be some hope for us all and the generations to come.

The last few months have been dark days in the history of this country — not because of the failures of any poltical party but because we seemed to lose everything that we held so dear. Our hope, our confidence, the smidgereen of belief that we were a country worth being proud of. We’re losing our youth, and we know that the next geneeration in Ireland will not be as well educated as the one that we’re seeing off at airports every day.

The cutbacks of the last few months have meant that life in Ireland may not be as good in the coming decade, but we can face that. We’ve done it before and come out the far side. So what if there are no more lattes. What we need now is a dollop of confidence and hopefully, and I stress hopefully, the new Government, whatever shape it takes will provide us with some of that.

My fellow Mayoman Enda Kenny looks certain to be Taoiseach now and the very best of luck to him. Much has been made of his attributes and his weaknesses, but that should be put behind us now as we face into life after the election.

Kenny is in a position to become quite a capable leader, in that he becomes more a chairman rather than a traditional tablethumping leader. His power to delegate and his power to get things done will play a crucial part in the shaping of this new Ireland.

Today is a surreal sort of day, because having been bombarded with electronic media images of politicians and campaigns for the past four weeks, today is the day that the radio and TV silence takes over. In contrast with other campaigns, today the moratorium (which many people mistakenly believe applies to newspapers as well ) only starts from 2pm as opposed to midnight last night, as was normally the case.

This is a welcome calm and we should look upon it as an opportunity to contemplate what we are about to do. Every one of you who has a vote tomorrow should go out and use it. We owe it to the generations behind us and the generations after us to ensure that we did the right thing and voted for the politicians who we think can do the job, based on their ability, rather than on some dusty allegiance to a Civil War ideal.

The candidates who are standing before you tomorrow deserve a round of applause as well, because after all the shouting and roaring and protestations of greatness, they were the only ones who had the guts to go forward and put themselves before us. They have campaigned well and I hope honestly, and we wish them well.

This is a very exciting election for Galway. For the first time in decades, we will see major change in the nine-strong personnel we will send from this county to represent us. In making your choices, reward them for honesty, integrity, ability, and for commonsense.

The best of luck with your choices. Please make sure you vote.

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