Candidates sweet talk way to pole position

Kerry local candidates have been expanding their linguistic skills in a bid to sweet talk non-nationals.

Candidates sweet talk way to pole position

About 9,000 foreign residents, from countries ranging from Britain to Poland to Bangladesh are registered to vote in Kerry,.

They represent 8% of the Kerry electorate of 116,701 people. These voters are likely to make all the difference in a crowded field in both Killarney and Tralee.

Former Fianna Fáil councillor, Johnny Wall, now running as an Independent candidate in Tralee, is displaying a Polish translation of one of his election poster on his Facebook site. The literature was translated by his nephew’s Polish fiancée.

“The non-national voters are a big factor. We have one area in Tralee and it’s like ‘Little Poland’. Every house in there has a Polish family. The thing that worries me is whether they will vote,” said Cllr Wall.

“A lot of them are not interested. I was at a migrants’ meeting last night with five or six other councillors. The migrants raised the issue of direct provision but that’s a national issue.”

In Killarney, which has a large Asian community working in the town’s hotels, independent Cllr Donal Grady has created a glossy election postcard carrying a message in the Bangla language of Bangladesh.

“Respected Bangladeshi brothers and sisters, in the last election all of you were next to me to give me a chance to serve the people of Killarney...” Cllr Grady’s postcard began.

For the latest election news and analysis visit our special Election 2014 section.

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