CORK South West Sinn Féin councillor Paul Hayes is disappointed following his two unsuccessful attempts to secure a Seanad seat nomination.
The Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (ISWFPO) in Castletownbere – who were nominating candidates for the first time – felt Cllr Hayes was the best candidate to represent them on a national level and nominated him.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Cllr Hayes – who has been temporarily laid off until the end of this month from his job as a quality and training manager at Java Republic due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis – said that he was very disappointed to be told last week that his nomination was not going forward, after putting so much work into it.
‘I’m also disappointed for the nomination body who had put their trust in me. I didn’t seek the nomination in this case, but they asked me and they see this refusal as a slight against them,’ said Cllr Hayes.
‘I’m also very disappointed with the lack of party support for the party nomination process too, which I also sought but was also unsuccessful in getting.’
He said the ISWFPO had approached him to put his name forward as their candidate in the Agriculture and Fishing panel, which he agreed to.
‘We filled out the paperwork within a tight schedule and I had to explain my qualifications in seeking a nomination in this panel and I outlined that I am a member of the Council coastal management committee. I was then asked to send in even more detailed paperwork about my work.’
However, following an assessment process by a panel including the returning officer and a High Court judge last week, he was told that while he has a knowledge of the issues regarding fishing and farming, he did not have the practical experience to go forward as a nominee.
Cllr Hayes had also entered his name through the party structure having received the support of his local Cumann.
‘I was more disappointed about the lack of party support for the Seanad seat to be honest, and even if I did get on the agriculture & fisheries panel, there was no guarantee that I could secure a seat, as party members would be asked to vote for the official nominated candidates on March 30th.’