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Keaveney and MacLochlainn
react to loss
Inishowen's two most
prominent politicians, Cecilia Keaveney and Padraig
MacLochlainn, are contemplating their
political futures today following their respective
defeats in the General Election 2007.
Keaveney arguably loses most, however, after
yesterday's cliffhanger count. A Dail deputy for
nearly eleven years, the 38-year old Moville woman's identity
has become inextricably linked with her powerful
position as a Government backbencher and chairperson
of two Oireachtas committees. She was clearly
struggling to come to terms with her political
demise in the early hours of this morning.
"I've given eleven
years of hard work to this job. I've done 55 days of
canvassing and called to 10,000 houses.
"I did my best. My last day off was Easter Sunday.
But looking at it now, I know that there is nothing
that I could have done that I didn't do.
"People on the doorsteps were thinking 'she's ok,
she's safe' but now they will realise she wasn't
safe at all. There were also some reports in the
media suggesting we could
return two TDs to
Inishowen, when that wasn't the case at all.
"Until you get those votes in the box, you're not
safe." She said her defeat was harder to take given
the strong performance of her party nationally.
"When you see Fianna Fail doing so well around the
country, it's an even bigger kick in the backside
when you know you're not going to be there too." She
paid glowing tributes to the "hard work and
dedication" of her two assistants, Paula and Karen,
in her Moville office, who now lose their jobs. She
added: "About 13,000 people used our office in
Moville. If even half of them had voted for us, we
would have been fine." It is not out of the question
that Bertie Ahern, as Taoiseach, may see fit to
reward Keaveney's long-standing loyalty with a
senatorship. On that, she merely said: "God works in
mysterious ways and where one door shuts another
might open." In the meantime, she may also be
considering a return to her former career as a music
man, Padraig MacLochlainn was philosophical about
his failure to win a seat on his second General
"Of course it's a huge disappointment and five years
is a long time to wait, but I'm still a councillor
on both Donegal County Council and Buncrana Town
Council and I will continue to work as hard as ever
in those roles.
"Sinn Fein fought a very good campaign in both
North East and Donegal
South West but obviously we still have a lot of work
to do here and nationally." He said General Election
2007 turned into a "presidential campaign" for the
two biggest parties which ultimately had knock-on
effects for all the other contenders.
"It turned into a presidential campaign between the
two bigger parties which essentially meant that the
smaller parties got squeezed out," said the
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