I can't afford election race: former mayor
A FORMER town mayor and Independent councillor for the past decade has said he has reluctantly decided not to contest the local elections because he can't afford to.
Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan (44), who served as mayor of Killarney like his father before him, said he does not have the money it takes to fund a campaign.
The father of two teenage children estimates that it would cost him at least €15,000 in posters, petrol and other election expenses to run in the election – money he says he simply does not have.
The maor uisce (water carrier) for the Kerry Senior Football team, who is employed in the GAA shop in Killarney, feels only candidates "with money behind them" can afford to run for local authorities or the Dail.
He feels that even candidates connected to political parties are feeling the pinch.
"When I was running for the town council there was no posters to be done because we're a 'poster-free zone'," Mr O'Callaghan said.
"I'm also employed by the Kerry GAA shop and you'd nearly need three months off work to devote to the campaign.
"Some people are willing to spend up to €30,000 and if they have the money to do it, best of luck to them – but I don't."