Saturday 18 November 2017

Taoiseach: 'Mayo's whingers don't see any good'

'If Fine Gael plans to inject more passion into its campaign ahead of polling day, it appears its leader will be shooting from the hip and the lips' Photo: Barbara Lindberg.
'If Fine Gael plans to inject more passion into its campaign ahead of polling day, it appears its leader will be shooting from the hip and the lips' Photo: Barbara Lindberg.
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Mayo has trouble winning All Ireland's - unless it comes to whingers, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Back on home turf after two days in Brussels and perhaps lacking a bit of sleep, Mr Kenny wasn't in the mood for any naysayers.

If Fine Gael plans to inject more passion into its campaign ahead of polling day, it appears its leader will be shooting from the hip and the lips.

In Castlebar yesterday, he said Fine Gael had to make people "excited" ahead of polling.

"They can expect to feel the hairs tingling at the back of their necks about what politics really is, and politics is about people.

"Make them go away excited. Make them go away enthusiastic. Make them go away exuberant and proud that they will back the Fine Gael candidates," he cried.

So far, so positive. But then Mr Kenny turned his attention to those who believe there is no recovery.

"God knows we have some All-Ireland champions here in Castlebar. I don't mean Castlebar Mitchells [GAA club], I mean the whingers that I hear every week saying there's nothing happening.

"Well I want to assure them that the future is very bright. All we have to do is maintain the progress in terms of our economy.

"We'll look after our hospitals, we'll look after our schools, we'll look after our infrastructure. We'll look after the people who create jobs and business and give them that opportunity to grow in the time ahead.

"For me, it's a brilliant opportunity to say to you, I've never been as optimistic about our country as I am now."

Later, he was asked what he meant by whingers.

"Locals - nothing to with national politics at all. Obviously, you get this all the time but sometimes I find that people find it very difficult to see any good anywhere, anytime."

The Taoiseach hasn't necessarily been feeling the love on his home turf, and his campaign stops here emphasised that he has had to focus on national and international issues, rather than local concerns.

Mr Kenny said there's "a lot at play" next Friday but insisted it wasn't about him.

"It's about our country, it's about our people. It's about all our futures," he said.

While there was no walk-about in Castlebar, Mr Kenny had kicked off the day meeting locals in Ballinrobe - where Fine Gael candidate John O'Mahony is now competing in the Galway West constituency that takes in south Mayo.

"Every match enters a crunch stage. This is the crunch now," O Mahoney said.

If Mr Kenny makes good on his promise, prepare to feel those hairs tingle.

Sunday Independent

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