Can Oranmore go from blue to red?

The Labour Party will field two candidates in Oranmore in the hope of taking at least one seat here in June’s Local Elections. However will the party be able to overcome Fine Gael’s dominance in the ward?

This week Labour selected Enda O’Rourke and Josette Farrell as its candidates for Oranmore.

Mr O’Rourke, a 58-year-old widower from Maree, Oranmore, is the co-founder and former chairman of the Maree Community Development Association.

Through his work with Bass Brewers he negotiated sponsorship of the Galway Arts Festival, Galway United, and of the Oranmore Maree Senior Football Team. He was involved with Fine Gael for a number of years and stood for election to the Galway County Council in 1985. He ran as an Independent in 1999 and joined Labour in 2002

Josette Farrell has also been involved in community work over the years with the Claregalway Community Development Association and the Claregalway Bypass Action Group.

The seats in the Oranmore ward are currently occupied by Fianna Fáil Cllr Mary Hoade, Fine Gael councillors Jarlath McDonagh and Michael Carey, and Independent Cllr Jim Cuddy.

Cllr Hoade this week decided that she would be running in the Tuam ward, not Oranmore this year. This creates a free space which both Fianna Fáil and Labour will contest fiercely.

However the presence of two FG councillors and the fact that this is Sen Fidelma Healy Eames’ heartland, lends the ward a distinctly ‘blue’ tinge. The party will be determined to hold onto both seats at all costs.

Given that FG (and Cllr Cuddy ) will not relinquish their seats without a fight, Labour’s best bet is that Cllr Hoade has moved to Tuam so now the party must concentrate it’s fire on the now vacant seat and public disillusionment with the Government.

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