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Friday 24 November 2017

The weird and wonderful world of #GE16 campaign videos

David Kearns

As the General Election draws to a close, the whirlwind campaign produce a bumper crop of bizarre clips aimed at encouraging a number one preference.

From musical numbers to Hollywood spoofs to cinematic stroll abouts, the 2016 election has been as much battle for social media likes as it has been for hearts and minds.

Looking back at some of the best (and worst) viral attempts from campaign, it is clear that, A: Ireland is in safe hands, and B: That our politicians will do anything to get elected.

Sure to go down as an instant classic, Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin 'Marty' Heydon’s loving tribute to Back to the Future did not just raise the par in terms of campaign videos – it smashed it.

Bizarre as it is brilliant, the video sees a fictional Doc Brown cruising around Deputy Heydon’s constituency in an actual De Lorean showing why the TD is needed to secure a better future for the country.

Because it was not Biff Tannen and his sports almanac threatening Ireland’s recovery but the prospects of Mr Heydon not getting re-elected. 

Other efforts, while considerably rougher, were nevertheless as creative.

Michael Healy-Rae the right note with his musical cover of the cult classic ‘Hit the Diff’.

Kerry’s No. 1 son recorded his own version and used it to highlight his contributions to the county.

It was Limerick’s own Richard O'Donoghue who got the ball rolling on the election anthems with this little ditty:

Jerry O'Sullivan and Tim Jackson too released election songs to complement their 2016 Dáil bids, as did ‘The man in the Van” Mattie McGrath.

Dancing, in a pair of boxing gloves with his Tipperary opponents' names on them, the video features the ‘Rock of Cashel’ walking through his constituency to a chorus of: “So vote McGrath-aa, Independent number one, Mattie McGrath-aa, la, la, laa-la, la-la-la Mattie McGrath”.

Social Democrat candidate Gary Gannon meanwhile took a more cinematic approach to campaigning; flexing some directorial muscle by featuring an unbroken long take through the streets of inner Dublin.

Perhaps the most bizarre clip came from a Longford priest Father Joe McGrath, who cryptically urged voters Longford-Westmeath to cast their lot in with Independent candidate James Morgan.

Father Joe for Longford

Many thanks to Father Joe for a great video. 'Let's give him a shot at it'

Posted by James Morgan on Monday, 22 February 2016

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