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Election Campaigns

Ardmore Memory and Story - Troubled Times

2. Election Campaigns
During the intervening years we found elections very exciting. I remember the well-loved figure of Micheàl Ó Concubhair, on a platform bowing, almost jumping up and down saying “Let us give one pull, one strong pull and we’ll all pull together and vote for Fianna Fail”. We thought it was great stuff and we loved to imitate him. Miky Ryan, Ballyquin and a Dr White from Waterford spoke on the promenade another day; there were certainly angry feelings with charges flying in all directions, but I must say we youngsters enjoyed it. Mrs Redmond, I recall too, addressing a meeting near the Boathouse; there were great complaints about the price of butter being one and something a pound.

At a later period, my father tended to drive out his lorry from the Boathouse and the politicians of whatever party said their say from the back of the lorry which Jack Flynn termed “the steps of Liberty Hall.” A Labour Candidate, J Guiry informed his listeners that voting for Fianna Fail meant cutting their throats, so Mrs Daly (nee Fitzgerald) loudly informed him and those around her that she was going to do precisely that.

We brought a big poster into school one day, featuring Dev’s head; “our new half-sovereign”, the caption said. Mother Ita shook her head and said “poor Dev.” Another election time memory is of Betty Flynn (later Reilly) up on the wall boundary of Strand Cottage giving us an election “speech”, at school play-time.

Election proceedings now are very polite and dignified. The residue of bad feeling resulting from all those troubled years has taken a long time to subside. I cannot help recalling the sentiments of the verse about the Pilltown Ambush and contrasting them with the emphasis now on peace and reconciliation.

Author: Siobhan Lincoln, T. Mooney, Fritz Hirsch

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