WEST Cork is to have its own ‘Michael and Danny’ with the news that Cllr Michael Collins’ elevation to Dáil Éireann will pave the way for the co-option of Danny Collins to his County Council seat.
Just like Michael and Danny Healy Rae in Kerry, the Collinses of West Cork look set to make a name for themselves on the political scene.
Michael Collins told The Southern Star that when he, as PRO of the West Cork Community Alliance, was encouraged to run in the 2014 local elections, he did so because he was angry about the closure of garda stations, banks and post offices; the unfair treatment of Irish fishermen in their own waters; the dismantling of Leader groups; the unfair single farm payment; dire mobile and broadband coverage; the disastrous state of our road network and the unfair treatment of the self-employed.
‘At that time,’ he said, ‘we planned our campaign and we also looked at the possibility that if I was lucky enough to get elected to Dáil Éireann, I would name a substitute panel to replace me.
‘It was felt that members of this panel should be active community people from West Cork. We selected Danny, my brother, who runs the Boston Bar in Bantry, as the first person on the panel – not because he is my brother, but because Danny has been active in the community for years including working with Goleen Foroige, as PRO of Gabriel Rangers, treasurer of Bantry Show Committee, chairman of the Cheval Ride Fundraising Committee, a South West board delegate for Bantry Blues, chairman of the Bantry Vintners Association, PRO of the Bantry Development and Tourism Association and a committee member of Bantry Chamber.’
Michael Collins said that he, as a member of the Dáil, and Danny, as a member of the Municipal District, would ‘work to the very best of our ability to highlight the issues of concern and deliver results for the people of West Cork.’
The name of the person who is likely to take the seat vacated by Fianna Fáil’s Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has yet to be determined. There is some speculation that Deirdre Kelly – who unsuccessfully contested the 2014 local election and is the party’s local area representative in the Dunmanway area – will be named as Margaret’s successor.
But West Cork’s first female TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony could not be drawn.
She said: ‘There are a few potential candidates and the decision will not be made by me, it will be made by the party. My only concern,’ she added with a smile, ‘is that it will go to a good home.’