Losing a seat is like a bereavement – Owen

by Cóilín Duffy

Losing a Dáil seat is like suffering a bereavement according to former Fine Gael Deputy Leader Nora Owen.

Owen was unseated twice over the course of her political career, and was in attendance at the Dublin Fingal count in Swords on Sunday, where she spoke of her concern for those across the political spectrum who were not returned to the 33rd Dáil.

Long standing politicians such as Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher, Shane Ross and Regina Doherty were among the big losers as the results filtered through.

“On this day I’m very conscious of the people who are losing seats all over the country, having suffered that myself twice,” Owen told Dublin Gazette.

“It’s not a good day for them. It’s a very sad day, many of them worrying about what they will work at. Some will go for the Seanad, and some will simply go out of politics altogether.

“It’s a difficult day for their families as well. They are human beings, they have feelings. It’s like a bereavement.

“There will be some tears shed tonight, and probably already being shed, but nonetheless that’s democracy.”

Speaking about the change towards left leaning parities and politicians, Owen questioned if it was change for the good.

“Change for what benefit,” she said.

“What does change mean? I’m around a good while now. I saw Labour getting 33% of the national vote with candidates that people didn’t know their names, and then in the next election they were gone! It remains to be seen now what can be done in order to form a Government.

“My own view would be that a Government has to be formed. It’s a big decision time for all of the parties – Sinn Féín included.

“They walked away the last time, they could have been in Government and they could have begun to deliver what they have been promising.

“Have they the guts and courage to do it now and do a deal with either a group of Independents or Greens etc, or one of the two slightly bigger parties.- that is the question.

“Too be honest I think the public will punish them if they say they would prefer to be hurling on the ditch and shouting and roaring.”

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