O’Mahony may return to Galway – in search of a Dáil seatAugust 9, 2012 - 7:30am
By Declan Tierney
Former Galway football manager John O’Mahony could be facing the game of his life as there is mounting speculation that he may run in the Galway West constituency for Fine Gael.
The sitting TD for Mayo is facing the distinct possibility of his political career coming to an abrupt end as a consequence of his constituency being reduced to a four seater.
At the moment Fine Gael hold four of the five seats in Mayo but in a four seat scenario, O’Mahony is considered the most vulnerable and that is why he might turn his attention towards Galway where he is still highly regarded.
He brought Galway football out of the doldrums and ended up guiding them to two All-Ireland titles in 1998 and 2001 and for this alone he has maintained huge respect among the GAA fraternity.
There is no possibility of Fine Gael taking all four seats in Mayo, which has fuelled speculation that O’Mahony may turn his attention to Galway West, which now includes around 10,000 Mayo votes in the Ballinrobe area.
Of course, the former Galway manager is hoping to contest the European Elections in two years’ time as a means of saving his political career but there are indications that sitting MEP Jim Higgins, also from Mayo, has no intention of retiring.
“If he doesn’t get a crack at Europe then he faces two choices . . . bow out of politics or find another constituency,” a Fine Gael source said.
Deputy O’Mahony could not be contacted for a comment on his political future as he is currently out of the country.
In June, the Constituencies Commission announced that part of South Mayo was to be included in an enlarged Galway West constituency.
It resulted in areas like Ballinrobe, Cong, Shrule, Kilmaine and Garrymore being included in Galway West much to the angst of those living there who did not want to be part of another constituency.
Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune