Candidate in Seanad election must travel 440 miles with mail

Archives - January 1983 - FRANK O'Leary, the Cahersiveen-based vet who is seeking a seat in the Senate, has to make a round trip of 440 miles to avail of free postage during his campaign.

The free postage is a perk available to all candidates but they must personally present their mail at Sherriff Street post office in Dublin to get the concession.

Frank, whose late father was a Garda Superintendent in Dingle, is contesting the Senate election on the National University panel, which has three seats.

He is the only candidate from a rural area in the contest and has travelled to Dublin five times in the last two weeks to bring his mail to Sherriff Street.

"There is no doubt that being a rural candidate is a serious disadvantage," says the vet, who is running as an independent 'Voice of Rural Ireland' candidate.

Frank, former president of the Irish Veterinary Union, has the support of the South West Kerry Development Organisation (SWKDO) in the election.

As its vice-chairman he went to Brussels with other SWKDO officers some months ago to seek EEC aid for development of the area.

He says: "The SWKDO plan for the development of South West Kerry is essential if the native population is not to be wiped out in the years immediately ahead."

O'Leary suggests that the SWKDO strategy might be a pilot development for other parts of Ireland and Europe. The plan has been received very favourably by the European Commission and Parliament and has been described by An Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald as "one of the most impressive documents of its kind that I have ever had the privilege of reading."