Carroll admits to internal tensions
AT one stage during the election count, Senator James Carroll was close, close enough for people to start whispering about a recount.
But for the 27-year-old Monasterboice man, his dream of becoming a Fianna Fail TD died on the back of Labour's Mary Moran's transfers that favoured her Dundalk FG counterpart, Peter Fitzpatrick.
He retains his faith in the almost shattered Fianna Fail, but was frank about what happened during the campaign.
It was the wrong decision to run two candidates, he believes and it may have cost him a precious seat for a party that was grateful for every one they got.
Senator Carroll said: 'Of course I am disappointed. I came here yesterday (Saturday) thinking I could get a seat but to lose out by 900 votes is hugely disappointing.
'But politics is a a tough business and I don't take it personally. Fianna Fail have been hammered nationally and it's a trend across the country'.
Senator Carroll reckoned that the massive vote built up by Dermot Ahern and Seamus Kirk 'went everywhere', with Dundalk-based candidates Mary Moran and Peter Fitzpatrick perhaps benefiting the most.
He admitted that 'things were not as harmonious as they should have been' between himself and his running mate, Cllr. Declan Breathnach.
He said: ' We should have went with one candidate, two was the wrong decision, looking at the figures'.
And he also commented on the much talked about absence of retiring minister Dermot Ahern. Senator Carroll said: 'It's very surprising that he wasn't here'.
He praised the vote management of Labour and especially Fine Gael. He said: 'I think Fergus O'Dowd took a decision to sacrifice topping the poll to get Peter Fitzpatrick over the line and that has worked out'.
The future? Senator Carroll laughs off the 'Fine Gael rumour' that he already has a visa secured for Australia.
He said: ' That's not true. I have another six weeks of the senate and after that I don't know'.
What about a career in modeling? 'That was one of the few lighter moments in this campaign. I was always more focused on politics'.
Whatever happens, he's determined to continue on the path he first started out on when he was 19.
He said: 'I believe in politics and the power of public representation and I still believe in Fianna Fail'.