Fine Gael Cllr Michael Murphy, who lost out on the last seat to Mattie McGrath, has said he would be interested in running for the Dail again and is in politics for the “long haul”.
But the Clonmel man reiterated that he wouldn’t be interested in running for a Seanad seat in the upcoming election to the Oireachtas’ upper house.
“Fine Gael have given a commitment to put a referendum to the people to abolish the Seand and I believe that is the right decision.
“ I am very committed to Fine Gael and public service and would be interested in going for the Dail again. But it’s not my decision, it’s for my peers within Fine Gael to decide
“I want to reassure the people of South Tipperary that I will continue to serve them to the best of my abilities on South Tipperary Co. Council. I am in politics for the long haul.”
As Fine Gael’s second candidate, Cllr Murphy started out in the election campaign as somewhat of an unknown quantity having been elected to the South Tipperary Co. Council for the first time in the 2009 local elections.
But his energetic campaign and the massive national swing to Fine Gael, resulted in him polling an impressive 5402 first preferences, just 10 votes behind Dr. Mansergh, who ended up being eliminated before him.
His very respectable performance in his first general election outing has raised his profile in the constituency and has given him a base to build on for the future.
As Mattie McGrath was lifted aloft by jubilant supporters at the count centre following his victory, Cllr Murphy said he was “absolutely thrilled” with not only his own personal vote but the 74 per cent increase in the Fine Gael vote in South Tipperary compared to the 2007 election.
While some in his party believe better vote management by Fine Gael would have increased its chances of securing a second seat in South Tipperary, he said he was happy with the way the party managed the vote in the constituency.
“My goal was to be in with a chance for the final seat. I haven’t seen the tallies yet and look forward to further analysis of them but I am happy enough first time out to achieve 5402.”
He congratulated his party colleague Tom Hayes as well as Seamus Healy and Mattie McGrath. He said the people of South Tipperary need strong representation in the Dail now more than ever. While he felt it would have been better for the constituency to elect more candidates of parties that will form the next government, he respected the decision of the people.
He paid tribute to his director of elections Tom Acheson and Joe Leahy, who took charge of his campaign in Clonmel and all the people, who canvassed with him.
And most of all he paid tribute to his family, particularly his wife and six year old son, whom he hadn’t been able to spend much time with over the three months of the campaign.