From a physics and maths graduate, to investment banker and now independent general election candidate looking to promote renewable energy, it has been a long and winding road for Castlebar native Dermot McDonnell. While all of the attention was on the four Fine Gael candidates handing in their nomination papers on Wednesday, McDonnell also had his nomination accepted by retuning officer Fintan Murphy.
While he will probably not be in the shake up for a seat at the end of the month, McDonnell is trying to shape the direction of the debate as much as he can. “I want to get the people out there talking about renewable energy. Mayo County Council has just launched a new strategy in relation to this and the potential benefits to Mayo can be measured in the trillions of euros, not millions or billions. We have all the natural things we need here in Mayo, wind and wave in particular. There has been great work done on this by a number of county councillors, especially Michelle Mulherin, but I want the candidates to be asked by the people about the plans and policies that they have to tap this massive resource that will be a huge benefit to Mayo. He told the Mayo Advertiser: The potential is here to become world leaders in this type of energy which would bring in massive revenues that could pay for all the different social services along with giving us a huge cheap source of power that we could also export.”