Peter Fitzpatrick says he is in a “real dogfight” to hang on to his seat in the Louth constituency, with the former Fine Gael TD currently sitting fifth in the polls after the second count.
After Imelda Munster’s surplus was distributed, Fitzpatrick benefitted to the tune of 430 – a sizeable number which was higher than Fergus O’Dowd’s 357 but less than Mark Dearey and Ged Nash.
That left Fitzpatrick in fifth place overall on 6,515 while Ruairi O Murchu’s more moderate surplus of 713 was distributed out among the remaining candidates. As of 11.30pm on Sunday (time of publication), that was the state of play.
“If you told me yesterday that I was going to get over 6,000 votes I would have been delighted,” he told us. In regards to how he would do from Munster’s transfers, Fitzpatrick said, “I’m hoping to minimise the damage.”
“I expect Fianna Fail and Fine Gael transfers will carry them through so I think we’re in for a dogfight between Mark Dearey, Declan Breathnach, Ged Nash and myself. I’m hoping people in Louth and east Meath will give me their number twos.
“I think it will be a very close run race,” he continued.
Having quit Fine Gael in 2018, Fitzpatrick initially said he would not run this time around before deciding to seek re-election as an Independent. When asked whether he came into this election as an underdog, he said that wasn’t the case.
“I came into this election hoping to win my seat back,” he stated. “There’s no point getting yourself involved in a race if you don’t think you’re going to win it. I came in here with my eyes open. I knew from day one I was fighting for the last seat.
“I predicted that SF would take the two seats. I kind of knew it would be between Dearey, Nash and myself. I’m a winner. I have done a lot of work from day one. I have a very, very busy constituency office. I just hope the work myself and my staff done over the last number of years will pay benefits.
If elected, Fitzpatrick will become the first non-party candidate in Louth to be returned by voters since James Coburn in 1933.
“I’m not worried about history,” the Louth GAA county board chairman told LouthNow.ie. “All I want is another opportunity. The last nine years have been an honour for me.”