A FORMER Mayor of Limerick, a home help and an ex-Dell employee are among eight candidates selected to run in next year’s local elections in Limerick on an anti-austerity platform.
Also among their number is Cian Prendiville, who got over 700 votes in the general election two years ago for the Socialist Party. But he told the Leader he was one of only two of the anti-austerity candidates who are signed up members of Joe Higgins’ party.
Following a selection conference at the Mechanic’s Institute on Saturday, Mr Prendiville will be joined by Mary Hartery in contesting the Limerick City North electoral area.
Derrick Towell, Paul Keller and Stephanie O’Shea are to enter the fray in Limerick City East while former Dell employee John Loftus will run in Limerick City West.
Former independent socialist Mayor of Limerick Joe Harrington is to stand in the Newcastle West electoral area in County Limerick and Kathleen Enright, a home help who has faced government cuts, has been selected by fellow campaigners to go before the electorate in Adare/Rathkeale.
Another candidate is sought for Limerick City West as well as somebody to fly the flag in the Cappamore-Kilmallock area.
All those selected support the Campaign Against Property Taxes and Austerity.
And with the property tax bill to the householder to increase next January - by being payable over a full year - and the reintroduction of water charges drawing closer, Mr Prendiville believes the candidates have a real chance of making a breakthrough - most likely at the expense of Labour.
“At 8% in the polls they (Labour) have to be getting very worried. The only recent result we have to go by was in the by-election where the fared even worse than they were polling, at 4%,” he said.
“We didn’t run in the locals in 2009 and our campaign against austerity only got going two years ago so this is the first opportunity people in Limerick will have to vote for a real alternative to the austerity parties. The local elections last time around were used as a stick to beat Fianna Fail with and this time we believe they will be used to punish Labour and Fine Gael,” Mr Prendiville added.
He does not anticipate any backlash against the government would allow Fianna Fail to capitalise.
“We don’t see any great appetite out there to forgive Fianna Fail. People are tired of Tweededum-Tweedledee politics.”
Candidates selected in Limerick on Saturday have signed up to what Mr Prendiville said was an anti-austerity pledge which would restrain them from making deals with any of the parties which support austerity and that they would not go off on junkets.