WITHOUT doubt the most colourful candidate in the Carlow-Kilkenny constituency was independent Ramie Leahy. The internationally renowned artist was not in the least disappointed with his performance in the general election but rather looking ahead to the next local elections in three years time or more accurately, an open vote for Mayor, free of political party constraints. “I would definitely go for that,” he said after being eliminated on the third count with 277 votes. He feels he would have a good chance of becoming mayor if it was removed from the control of politicians. He received 256 first preferences and was ahead of three other candidates.
He claimed that the reason independents in general didn’t do well in this constituency was because the people of Carlow-Kilkenny were, according to Mr Leahy, the most conservative in Ireland. “There were seven independents and it spread the vote so there was no nucleus on which to build,” he claimed. He also said that in the last Borough Council elections in the city there were a number of excellent independent candidates none of whom were elected. Overall, he said things were too traditional in Kilkenny and Carlow and that it had to be changed but doubted if the political will was there to do so.