Thursday 18 January 2018

Jimmy undecided on where to run

Councillor and former player Jimmy Shaughnessy
Councillor and former player Jimmy Shaughnessy

Myles Buchanan

The Chairman of Wicklow County Council, Jimmy O'Shaughnessy, has a 'borderline' decision to make – on where he will run in the upcoming local elections.

The re-drawing of the electoral district boundaries has seen Cllr O'Shaughnessy's home patch of Rathdrum move from the Wicklow district and intot the Arklow district for the first time. Now he says he doesn't know whether to run in Wicklow, in Arklow, or in both.

'I still haven't made my mind up but there's a chance I might run in both,' he said last week. 'Rathdrum is now part of the south Wicklow electoral area but there are still some outlying areas in the east. Barndarrig is mostly part of south Wicklow now but there are around 150 voters from there still in the east. The boundary changes have placed me in a very tricky situation.'

Last time out, in 2009, Cllr. O'Shaughnessy, pictured, came out on top of the Wicklow Electoral Area with an impressive first count tally of 1,918 votes. However, he feels the boundary changes could severely handicap his chances this time round.

'I will try and defend the seat I have held for the past 20 years. I have always had great support in Rathdrum, Rathnew, Glenealy, Glendalough, Roundwood and Wicklow town. I have said it before, but I don't see myself getting re-elected the way the boundaries have been changed.

'People have contacted me who want me to run in the east and others have asked me to run in the south. At the moment I am conducting a poll in each area to check out what my chances are of winning. If I run in both areas it will involve a lot of work. I will have to cover two constituencies and I won't have any major party support any longer either,' he said, in reference to how he left The Labour Party last week because of objections to the household charge, the introduction of water rates and Government cuts. This will be his first election running as an independent.

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