ONE of the most remarkable performances in the general election came from independent, Stephen Kelly. The Kilmanagh farmer was the highest performing independent candidate and his showing was all the more remarkable in that he only decided to put his name forward two weeks before election day. He was with his family at the count centre on Saturday and was delighted with the way the people of his home area supported him. “I am overwhelmed by the way people in Graigue-Ballycallan, Kilmanagh, Cuffesgrange and Castleinch and other areas supported me, it’s amazing,” he said.
His first preference vote of 601 was achieved without any party backing and without a major media campaign. Far from being downhearted about not being elected, he said he was delighted with his performance and was delighted with the 601 number ones as well as all the number 2, 3, 4s and down along, that he received.
Asked about his future, Mr Kelly said it was a time for reflection and he is going to think long and hard before he makes any decision about contesting the local elections in three years time. He said that the voting system and democracy was in stark contrast to Libya and other parts of the Middle East and that we should cherish the right to vote.