Limerick councillor to offer support to former election rival

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Cllr Shane Clifford hopes the Social Democrats will play a role in the next Dail
FIANNA Fail councillor Shane Clifford has supported his party leader Michael Martin’s suggestion that a partnership with the Social Democrats could be the best coalition option.

FIANNA Fail councillor Shane Clifford has supported his party leader Michael Martin’s suggestion that a partnership with the Social Democrats could be the best coalition option.

Cllr Clifford, who is Fianna Fail’s party whip on the council, revealed he will be giving his second preference vote – after Willie O’Dea – in the upcoming general election to Sarah-Jane Hennelly, who he ran against in the last local election.

Ms Hennelly, who secured 467 votes to only narrowly miss out on a council seat, is running for the fledgling party in the upcoming election.

And Cllr Clifford said: “The likes of Sarah being on the ballot paper gives people a real alternative. I was very surprised she did not get elected. Obviously, I was delighted Fianna fail took three seats in City East. But I thought we could win three seats, and Sarah-Jane would also win a seat. I thought she would do a lot better in the middle-class areas, the suburbs.”

He believes a lack of political experience may have cost her.

Asked why he believes if Fianna Fail are in a position to form the next government, they should look to do business with the Social Democrats - who are running former Labour man James Heffernan in the county - Cllr Clifford added: “I think they are very close to the ideology of Fianna Fail under Micheal Martin’s leadership which is pro-enterprise, equality of opportunity and centre-left, but at a high level. That’s the reason why I made the choice to run for Fianna Fail two years ago.”