Jimmy Fleming hopes to make a return to local politics
Riverchapel publican Jimmy Fleming is throwing his hat into the political ring once again.
Jimmy who runs Jimmy'z pub in Riverchapel will be running as an Independent candidate in this May's local elections.
He has had a chequered political career and served on the former town council in Gorey for ten years until his shock retirement from politics in 2012. Jimmy started his political career as a Sinn Fein councillor before he famously defected to Fianna fail in 2007.
He was first co-opted to Gorey Town Council in 2002, when he took Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Sheil's seat. He was then elected to both the Town and County Council in 2004. At one stage he had harboured ambitions to run as a TD for Sinn Fein but didn't get the opportunity.
In August 2007, the former Sinn Fein County Councillor famously 'jumped ship' to Fianna Fail, saying he had been 'pushed out, ignored, and left on his own by senior party members' in Sinn Fein. The move to Fianna Fail was masterminded by Lorcan Allen, who was a sitting councillor at the time.
In 2009 he retained his seat on the town council in Gorey but lost his county council seat and in 2012 he resigned the town council seat citing work commitments.
Yesterday (Monday) Mr Fleming announced his intention to contest the local election as an Independent councillor. 'I feel being Independent is the best way to go. When you look at the way Fianna Fail is propping up the Fine Gael government and all the fiasco with the Children's Hospital I felt I couldn't run under the Fianna Fail banner.
'A lot of people have been approaching me about running over the past few months and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to get involved in politics again. To be honest I've missed the cut and thrust of it all. I really enjoyed my time in politics.
'If I'm elected my main priorities will be getting a new second level school built in the Riverchapel/Courtown area, road improvements as our back roads, in particular, are in an appalling condition and to see some major employment in the area. Most people in Gorey are travelling to Dublin to work making it very much a commuter town which is not ideal and isn't great for businesses in the district.'
Jimmy said he will be starting his campaign in earnest after St Patrick's Day and will be knocking on doors throughout the area to meet as many people as possible and listen to their concerns.