‘Ballyhea Says No’ campaigner Diarmuid O’Flynn to run in general election

The man who led the ‘Ballyhea Says No’ campaign against paying the bondholders has announced he is to run in the general election as an Independent Alliance candidate in Cork North-West.

Diarmuid O’Flynn said Independent Alliance TDs and RTÉ soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy have promised to help him canvass, along with his Ballyhea campaigners.

Last November, he was appointed parliamentary assistant to MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.

O’Flynn earlier shocked political pundits when he managed to get 30,323 first preference votes in the European elections, before getting knocked out on the 10th count.

The former Irish Examiner sports reporter made the announcement in Charleville yesterday at a press conference attended by TD Shane Ross.

It came just 48 hours after the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea (Ind), said he would also be seeking a Dáil seat in the same constituency.

“We in the Independent Alliance intend to give him every support we can. I was absolutely delighted that Diarmuid O’Flynn declared. He’s got a track record second to none in this constituency,” Deputy Ross said.

The TD recalled how he had attended the 200th march of the Ballyhea Say No campaign last December and was so impressed with their fight.

“What they were hoping in Dublin was that Diarmuid would go away and come off the pitch. He’s coming onto the pitch,” he said.

Mr O’Flynn said he wouldn’t be entering into a voting pact with Cllr O’Shea.

He said: “I want people to write down the major issues they have and look at the ballot paper and see who is best to work for them. Hopefully I’ll be top of their list.”

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