Winters says FG top brass has to heed the message
IRENE Winters hopes the Fine Gael headquarters takes note of the electorate's unhappiness with the manner in which austerity measures are being imposed on them by the Government.
Prior to the election, Irene had been a member of both Wicklow Town Council and Wicklow County Council and her place on the new County Council was confirmed on the 15th and final Count with 1,328 votes in all, including 769 first preferences.
'Personally I am delighted to have been returned to the council. I have to say I am disappointed for the party overall. I think we have a lot of work to do in context of sitting down with headquarters in relation to the fiscal measures they are taking. We all know some form of austerity measures have to be taken but I feel there are better and more constructive ways of going about it.'
She also expressed her sympathies to fellow party member Malcolm Earls, who was eliminated in round 14.
'I am disappointed that Malcolm won't be alongside me because I know how hard he works and how much he offers to the council. It was always going to be a tricky campaign. There was a turn toward Independents and then you look at Daire Nolan's results and the great support he got from Newtown. I think there was a huge array of candidates running in Wicklow town, and that spread the vote pretty thin.'
Shay Cullen performed extremely well as he ran in an election for the first time. The Roundwood native picked up an impressive 1,013 first preference votes to finish fourth overall.
While Irene and Shay can both look forward to taking up their positions on the new council, Irene still laments the decision to abolish Town Councils.
'I think people will really begin to feel the loss after a few months. I just hope all the county councillors will see each and every voter as equal and do things for the betterment of the whole of Wicklow rather than just for their own particular area.'