NEWLY announced county council election candidate Dan McCarthy says he has absolutely no concerns about entering the race in Ireland's largest constituency in terms of geography.
While the Kenmare Mart manager may be a 90-minute drive from the heart of the Dingle Peninsula – now part of the new South and West Kerry electoral area – he says that all constituents have similar concerns, particularly when it comes to farming interests.
"It's probably the largest constituency anywhere in Ireland but farmers on the Dingle Peninsula will have the same issues as here in the Kenmare area and I hope to be able to represent all those interests in the council chamber following this election," said Dan. "Penalties are being put on farmers and few realise exactly what's happening on the ground. Between water and household charges, it is going to be a tough year but we need to preserve industries such as farming, fishing and tourism as that's the way forward," he added.
Eliminated on the final counts in 1999 and 2004 on the Fianna Fail ticket, he missed out on the party nomination in 2009 and still feels hard done by. It's widely known that the party approached him this time but he says he's now looking forward to running as an Independent.
"I've supported Fianna Fail since the late 1970s and canvassed with John O'Leary and Tom Fleming but I'm happy going as an Independent," he said. "I suppose my profile has risen substantially since I took over as manager of the mart in 2004 and with farmers coming from as far away as Dingle and across the Iveragh Peninsula to the mart, it can only help."