Waterford: Former mayor believes he will do 'exceptionally'
IT'S not something you're used to hearing from a general election candidate.
Most usually talk down their chances of taking a Dail seat, but Independent Waterford candidate John Halligan is bullish.
"All the indications are I'll do exceptionally well," Mr Halligan said last night.
"I was mayor of Waterford last year and I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I was a very successful mayor.
"I was known as the people's mayor. I've topped the polls in the last two council elections."
Mr Halligan, who left the Workers' Party in 2008 and says he was approached by Labour last year, is hoping the 2011 General Election will be third time lucky for him after he unsuccessfully ran for the Dail in both 2002 and 2007.
He said he could feel a wind behind him this time.
"I'll be there or thereabouts," he added. "I know myself on the canvass. The last time I knew I was going well so it didn't surprise me when I topped the poll."
But while he acknowledges he would have a "shopping list" for Waterford, he's adamant he's not a parish-pump Independent candidate.
"I'm not one of these gombeen independents that will sell out his country.
"But I would have a shopping list for Waterford."
He said an opposition dominated by Fianna Fail "would not be acceptable".
Mr Halligan said the major issues were jobs, emigration and the ongoing campaign for a university for Waterford.
Stressing the jobs issue, he ran an advert in a local newspaper last week with 16 Waterford emigrants on an Australian beach holding a sign that said 'Vote John Halligan'.
Waterford has been down one of its four TDs since former FF minister Martin Cullen resigned his Dail seat last year, and Fine Gael senator Paudie Coffey went to the High Court in an attempt to get a by-election held.
Events have now overtaken Mr Coffey, but he is hoping to take a Dail seat after losing out in 2007.
Brendan Kenneally TD
John Deasy TD
Senator Paudie Coffey
Cllr Seamus Ryan
Cllr Ciara Conway
Cllr David Cullinane
Cllr John Halligan
Cllr Tom Higgins
LAST TIME OUT
- Then Fianna Fail minister Martin Cullen topped the poll with 11,438 votes, just under 4,000 ahead of his nearest rival, Fine Gael's John Deasy.
- Outgoing Fianna Fail TD Ollie Wilkinson lost to party colleague Brendan Kenneally, who regained the seat he lost to Mr Wilkinson in 2002.
- Fine Gael's Paudie Coffey failed to take a seat, and was eliminated on the eighth count. Mr Coffey was then elected to the Seanad.
- SEATS 4
- ELECTORATE 75,789
- VOTERS PER TD 18,947