After many months of deliberation, Cllr Mary Hoade will follow her core vote into the Tuam Ward and run there as one of at least three Fianna Fáil candidates in June’s Local Election.
In June 2008 the Local Electoral Area Boundary Review Committee redrew the Oranmore and Tuam electoral boundaries. As a result, the Annaghdown, Ballinaduff, Headford, Killeany, and Killursa areas - which have a total population 5,173 - were transferred from the Oranmore ward into the Tuam ward.
This created a dilemma for Fianna Fáil Cllr Mary Hoade, who saw her vote split in two because of the boundary changes. From then on, speculation was intense among political watchers in Galway as to what her future intentions would be.
Would she opt to stay in Oranmore with a much depleted core base or follow her base into a new ward, albeit a large one, most of which was new and unknown territory for her?
At a meeting with her supporters on Tuesday evening, Cllr Hoade made the decision that she would stand in the Tuam Ward in the Local Elections in June.
Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, Cllr Hoade explained her decision.
“I’m standing in the Tuam Ward on the basis that most of my electoral area is now there,” she said. “Most of the places that I received my highest votes in are in the Tuam ward now. Annaghdown has been divided and areas adjacent to me have gone into Tuam. Most of my votes are there now so I had to move.”
That Cllr Hoade enters the new ward with the majority of her core vote will be of reassurance to her. However the Tuam ward covers a large area of north Co Galway and this means that many voters will be unfamiliar with Cllr Hoade and she with large parts of her new ward.
“There’s no election that you are not nervous about,” she said. “This does open up new territory and it will be a challenge in holding my seat.”