Thursday 27 June 2019

'I keep reminding myself not to run away with myself' - Green Party's Saoirse McHugh on Euro hopes

Castlebar count center, co. Mayo. Local and european elections. Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh at Castlebar count Centre. Pic:Michael Mc Laughlin
Castlebar count center, co. Mayo. Local and european elections. Green Party candidate Saoirse McHugh at Castlebar count Centre. Pic:Michael Mc Laughlin

Markus Krug

European election hopeful Saoirse McHugh is cautiously optimistic about her chances in this weekend’s election after exit polls had her at around 12% in Midlands-North-West.

Green Party candidate Ms McHugh said the whole situations feels "a bit surreal to be honest" and that she hasn't really processed it fully.

And on whether her polling is indicative of a seat when the count is complete, the Achill Islander - who is running for her first ever election - said:

"I swing between 'Oh jeez, where'll I live in Brussels' and 'Be calm, it's fine, you're probably not going to get a seat'."

“It is hard not to feel hopeful. People are so supportive and tell me ‘oh you are definitely going to get a seat.’ I just keep reminding myself to be calm and to not run away with myself," she said.

And she cannot fully explain her current success story:

“I wonder is it just because I was honest? I’m not fully sure to be honest.”

Ms McHugh mentioned that her TV appearance at the recent Prime Time debate gave her access to a lot of people in her constituency that she would not have had while canvassing.

“That was my first real TV appearance and it was my first time to access so many people. It’s a huge constituency and television is unparalleled in reach.”

When talking about her way into politics, she mentioned a conversation with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan over environmental policies that gave her the motivation to run for MEP.

“I was talking to Eamonn Ryan and I was saying to him ‘you have to get the trade unions involved. It will be necessary that their voices are heard in this.’ And he just said ‘why don’t you run?’”

“And the only reason not to run that I could think of was fear and so I said ‘Ok, fine. I’ll do it’ and I did,” she added.

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