Four new faces in the race for Dáil seats
Pictures and stories from past pages of the Kerryman
Archives - November 1982
THERE are four new candidates out of an expected total of 12 going before Kerry's 85,000 voters in this month's General Election - and three of them represent Fine Gael.
In North Kerry, Fine Gael have a totally new team on offer to the public, footballer Jimmy Deenihan of Finuge and Bernie Gannon of Tralee, Tom Randles of Kilgarvan backs up veteran campaigner Michael Begley in an attempt to hold the Party seat there. Also making his election debut is Workers' Party representative Seán O'Grady in South Kerry. Mr. O'Grady has been a member of the Killarney Urban District Council since 1974 and, though a rank outsider, his Party's decision to field a candidate will be of considerable interest in so far as it will affect other Killarney hopefuls, particularly Michael Moynihan (Labour) and John O'Leary (Fianna Fáil) both outgoing.
Fianna Fáil's decision to run just two candidates in South Kerry, as in 1977 - when they held two seats - may be vital to the outcome. Basically Fianna Fáil have two quotas in the constituency and with a good canvas they have a more than reasonable chance of gaining a seat.
In 1981 Fianna Fáil ran three candidates in John O'Donoghue, and the then outgoing Deputies John O'Leary and 'Chub' O'Connor. Only John O'Leary got through and, afterwards, Mr. O'Connor blamed the imposition of the third candidate for losing his seat. And again in February the Party ran three candidates - this time the Party maintained two quotas but only got one seat.
Most likely to suffer from Fianna Fáil's decision to revert to two candidates is Fine Gael's outgoing Deputy Michael Begley of Dingle. His running mate is newcomer Tom Randles who is highly unlikely to achieve the vote of 2,584 gained by Michael Connor Scarteen of Kenmare in February.
This obviously means that Michael Begley's first preference vote must be high - even above his highest vote ever back in February when he had 6,758. However, should the Fianna Fáil strategy hold good, with the Party taking two seats, the victim may also be Labour's Michael Moynihan.
In 1981, Mr. Moynihan polled a massive 8,221 first preferences, just under the the quota, but in February this had dropped to 7,038. Now with the intervention of of the Workers' Party candidate, Seán O'Grady, it may happen that Moynihan's vote will drop even further - albeit to a small degree.
While Fianna Fáil stands a reasonable chance of a one-seat gain in South Kerry, the Party cannot improve its Dáil representation in the North Kerry constituency, where already it has two deputies in Denis Foley and Tom McEllistrim.
The Party is running three strong candidates including the two outgoing deputies and the defeated Fianna Fáil candidate in February, Dan Kiely of Tarbert.