The town was unfortunate in not getting two local candidates into the Dáil because Fine Gael's Michelle Mulherin almost brought it off by virtue of a successful baseline development through the traditional local authority route.
...Calls in this column and elsewhere for a voting transfer strategy in Fine Gael did have the effect of joining O'Mahony on the posters in Ballina with Mulherin and hiving off vital votes from the locally-based candidate.
That's manipulative politics for you when the electoral chips are down but Mulherin
has laid the basis of a successful bid in the next national outing which may come sooner than many think. Independent Jerry Cowley must have felt the loss of his Dáil seat keenly especially after the opening of the Erris boxes and the lack of voter appreciation of the support he had given to the Shell to Sea campaign.He
won the seat out of North Mayo frustration with lack of Fianna áail development in the region and with an office in Ballina
felt entitled to be regarded as a Ballina representative notably on health issues.He
was lost in the blue tide of support for the idea of a Mayo Fine Gael
Taoiseach which is ironic given that Fine Gael steered well clear of the Shell
to Sea controversy and left Fianna Fáil to stew in that particular juice of their own making.