Wednesday 7 December 2016

The Floating Voter

Published 11/02/2016 | 02:30

Former Limerick senior hurling manager Richie Bennis
Former Limerick senior hurling manager Richie Bennis
Dublin North West candidate Noel Rock
A photo tweeted by Aodhan Ó Ríordáin (@AODHANORIORDAIN): "Today's #GE16 highlight"

On the campaign trail: GAA and politics often go hand- in-hand - and there's no better true GAA heartland than Co Limerick.

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Independent candidate Emmett O'Brien - a former Fianna Fáil member - has enlisted the support of former Limerick senior hurling manager Richie Bennis.

In his first season in charge in 2007, Bennis led Limerick to the All-Ireland hurling final where they lost to a powerful Kilkenny side.

O'Brien left the Fianna Fáil party prior to the 2014 local elections after failing to get selected to run - before then topping the poll in the Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District.

Now the young barrister is hoping to take votes from the sitting Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins.

Which makes it all the more intriguing that Bennis is now supporting O'Brien's campaign - given the GAA great's home hurling club is Patrickswell. That's right, exactly where Niall Collins lives.

Championship hurling ahead...

They said what

Tánaiste Joan Burton: "The person who wants to hide Alan [Kelly] would find it a very challenging job".

Kenny sees double

Taoiseach Enda Kenny thought he was seeing double when he arrived into Cllr Maura Hopkins's office. "You're either sisters of twins," he said to Roscommon candidate Maura and her PR guru Laura Mannion.

"We're neither," Maura told Floating Voter afterwards. "We met at a charity quiz and Laura joined Fine Gael two months later."

"People do come up to me thinking I'm Maura," Laura said.

So will Maura commit to not having her doppelganger fill in for her occasionally if she wins a Dáil seat?

"No," she says, laughing.

Candidate glued to US election

There was one candidate glued to an entirely different election overnight on Tuesday.

Dublin North West's Noel Rock was up all hours watching his former boss Hillary Clinton lose the New Hampshire primary. He worked as an intern in her Washington office as a young fella.

"The result was fairly predictable," he said of her Democrat rival Bernie Sanders's victory.

"But she won Iowa and she's going to win South Carolina," he told Floating Voter.

"I'm not sure she keeps as up to date with my political career as I do with hers," he joked.

Irish Independent

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