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Wednesday 20 August 2014

Roscommon Electoral area: latest updates

Maresa Fagan

Published 24/05/2014 | 21:55

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ROSCOMMON/SOUTH Leitrim TD Frank Feighan has conceded that it has been a “difficult day” for Fine Gael, with serious seat losses likely on his home turf.

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While first count figures in the local elections have yet to be announced, final tally figures from County Roscommon are showing that Fine Gael is facing a hammering from a disgruntled electorate.

“It’s a difficult day for Fine Gael. I think we always knew it was going to be difficult but I hope that there are better days ahead. I believe there will be better days ahead when all the difficult decisions we had to make, people will see the choices we had to make,” Deputy Feighan said.

Final tally figures put the party at just 22% of the vote in County Roscommon, down significantly since the 2009 results when the party took 37%.

Based on tally figures the party will do well to hang onto three out of 18 seats, which would halve its presence in the council chamber while Fianna Fail is set to gain at Fine Gael’s expense.

Water charges in a county where around one third of the population cannot drink the water, on top of a series of new taxes and cutbacks are likely to have tested the tolerance levels of voters.

Deputy Feighan accepted that voters were sending a message that they were “under pressure” and that the results represented a “wake-up call” for the government.

“It’s not a good day for Fine Gael. There are a lot of issues. Roscommon hospital issue, turf cutting, water charges, the quality of water, issues with Portiuncula hospital and psychiatric services,” the Fine Gael backbencher said.

The fall-out from the closure of the Accident and Emergency Department at Roscommon County Hospital in 2011 has also taken its toll on Fine Gael support, where divisions remain at grassroots level.

“What’s gone on in Roscommon in the last few years, it’s very divided and continues to be very divided. It certainly didn’t provide the best climate for Fine Gael to maximise votes or seats,” the Boyle-based TD said.

 

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