Barntown's mayoral candidates weigh up their rivals
THE campaign to elect the 'Mayor of Barntown' was launched at 'Election Central', Mary Jo's, at Larkin's Cross, on Friday night, with each of the rival candidiates eyeing up the opposition at first hand.
The brave candidates competing over the next 13 weeks are Martina Brazzill, Billy Codd, Tom Dempsey, Mag Gurhy, Donie O'Dowd and Declan Power, and this is one election where money will buy votes, in fact a euro a vote.
Some of the tasks set for each candidate include a row across the Slaney, a 'Come Dine with Me' competition, a fancy dress parade, and an auction at the parish field day.
Each Friday fortnight a gathering with take place at Mary Jo's, where updates will be given, pundits will make predictions and the next capaign fortnight will be planned.
Fr John Carroll said it was the hope of the parish committee that a serious yet good humoured contest will result in a more consolidated local area and that much-needed funds will help the curacy to modernise itself as it seeks to continue to be of service into the future.
'A lot of people have worked diligently over the past 10 years where our debt has been more than halved and virtually all of our core assets have been developed, renewed or replaced in spending that has surpassed €4 million,' he said.
The election has two main objectives:
* To increase awareness of the curacy itself, where it is, how far it extends, what are the boundaries, who lives within it, - (i.e. below the hospital to Forth Mountain, Polehore to the Maldron, near Carcur to Harristown, Coolcotts Lane to Ferrycarrig). Bringing Barntown Together is a tag line that is growing in usage in the area.
* The curacy has undergone considerable development in recent years, it is hoped that this will continue. Besides needing to pay down the decreasing debt (c.€280,000), parish development also needs to continue.
It is intended to fund (or part-fund) projects that have been earmarked for necessary development in the area - these include landscaping the cemetery, damp proofing the gable end of the church (a Pugin asset that is valued at €13 million in replacement value), and assisting with the floodlighting of the new sports grounds Fr Carroll said particular credit goes to Denis Sinnott, Ann Kent, Jennifer O' Keeffe, Aoife Colfer and Catriona Walsh (secretary) who are spearheading the operation.