Gay Mitchell is languishing in the polls and protesters greeted the arrival of Fine Gael big wigs in Ballinasloe on Monday, but it did not stop Taoiseach Enda Kenny from sounding upbeat or determined.
The Taoiseach and MEP Mitchell were in County Galway this week as part of the party’s presidential campaign and to open the constituency office of party Galway East TD Paul Connaughton, on Main Street.
The recent Paddy Power/Red C poll showed Dep Mitchell on 10 per cent - trailing far behind Labour’s Michael D Higgins on 25, Independent Sean Gallagher on 20, and Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness on 16.
Despite this Taoiseach Kenny said MEP Mitchell had made “an outstanding contribution” to Irish politics and he urged the people of east Galway to “get involved in his campaign and ensure the values represented by Gay Mitchell are reflected in Áras an Uachtaráin”.
MEP Mitchell said, “The only poll that matters is on Thursday October 27”. He said the presidential election traditionally has a low turn-out and he encouraged the public to “get out and vote on the day”.
While opening Dep Connaughton’s constituency office, Taoiseach Kenny said it was “a place people could come to meet their local representative in private” and he added that Fine Gael is committed “to representing all people without regard to their colour, race, or religion”.
While the Taoiseach and MEP Mitchell were surrounded by the party faithful at the office opening, both men were greeted by protesters when they arrived in Ballinasloe. However Taoiseach Kenny said the country currently has an annual deficit of €20 billion and tough decisions have to be made and will continue to have to be made to turn the country’s economic fortunes around.”
Dep Connaughton’s office is open Mondays to Wednesdays from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Contact 090 - 9646878.