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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Tipperary: Independent TD Michael Lowry predicts general election 'sooner rather than later'

Conor Kane

Independent TD Michael Lowry has predicted a general election “sooner rather than later” as a result of Labour’s collapse in the local elections this weekend.

Mr Lowry’s independent organisation ran six candidates across the Thurles-Templemore and Nenagh electoral areas for Tipperary County Council and was poised last night to win at least three, and possibly five, seats. It came into the elections with four county council seats.

Among those set to secure a seat was the former Fine Gael minister’s son, outgoing councillor Micheál Lowry.

“We’ve done exceptionally well, we’ve had a very good campaign but the bounce of a ball could mean the difference between three and five seats,” Mr Lowry Snr said.

He said he was “happy” with his organisation’s vote. “I’d imagine after these results we’ll have a general election sooner rather than later. To have effective government, you have to have rational and reasonable decisions taken. The reaction from the Labour Party to their current predicament would be one to believe that their expectations and targets cannot be met by a government that’s concerned about seriously running the country.”

He added: “I’ll be ready.”

Independents are set to make up about one-third of the 40 seats in Tipperary County Council, while Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are also happy with their performances. However,  it’s been a bad weekend in Tipperary for the Labour Party who are facing the prospect of no representation on the county council.

It was a good weekend for Sinn Féin, with the party set to claim a seat in each of the five electoral areas, compared to having just one county council seat coming into these elections.

Former Fianna Fáil minister Michael Smith was another who saw a son, Michael Jnr, enjoy electoral success with a huge first preference vote of 2568 in Thurles-Templemore. Mr Smith Snr said it may be a springboard for his son to seek a Fianna Fáil nomination for the next general election.

“It’s a result which I think, obviously, people are going to look at and think about,” he said. “He’s just had this fantastic election and he’s fairly jaded, I don’t think he’s thinking about anything else but a few days off. If I were back in the beginning of my political career, I might be thinking of something else but that’s for another day.”

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