Dublin North-West: Lyons's share of vote may bring in Labour double
Published 10/02/2011 | 05:00
THE main problem facing John Lyons is simply trying to convince people to turn up to vote.
The Labour Party's candidate is a genuine prospect for a second seat for the party with Roisin Shortall in Dublin North-West.
He's not complaining about it, but the carve-up of turf between the pair does appear to have strongly favoured his more senior colleague.
Born and bred in Ballymun, Mr Lyons is a teacher in St Vincent's School in Glasnevin and only went on unpaid leave from work last weekend.
"There is always a lower turnout on this side. But in the local elections we took out a Sinn Fein councillor and elected a second Labour councillor for the first time. The big challenge is getting people out to vote," he said.
The 33-year-old is also finding it hard to persuade people that every politician is not the same as what was in government up to now.
In a traditionally disadvantaged part of Dublin, the issue of jobs is unsurprisingly the biggest issue and the low-paid are concerned about their pay packets.
"Young people unemployed and the universal social charge is absolutely huge," he said.
The areas of Ballymun and Finglas are also heavily reliant on community, education and health services, he says.
Mr Lyons said there was no point in telling people the tough decisions didn't have to be made, but cuts did have to be done in a fair way.
"It is about making the right hard decisions. People need to feel there is a fair deal for everyone," he said.
Mr Lyons is among a number of candidates targeting the seat vacated by former Fianna Fail junior minister Noel Ahern, the brother of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
In an effort to ensure Community Affairs Minister Pat Carey retains his seat, Mr Ahern is not being replaced on the party ticket.
Meanwhile, Fine Gael's ticket of veteran candidate Dr Bill Tormey and Lord Mayor of Dublin Gerry Breen is resulting in an entertaining internal battle, which is attracting plenty of attention.
Pat Carey TD
Roisin Shortall TD
UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE
Michael Pearse Francis Larkin
Michael J Loftus
Last time out
Same trio returned
Fianna Fail’s Noel Ahern topped the poll, followed by party colleague Pat Carey and then Labour’s Roisin Shortall
Sinn Fein’s Dessie Ellis and Fine Gael’s Dr Bill Tormey fell well short
VOTERS PER TD 16,310