Audrey Fergus, the People Before Profit candidate in the Louth constituency in the general election, says she would run again if another election was called should there be a failure to establish a new government.
The Dundalk-based first time candidate was eliminated after the sixth count on Monday having amassed 3,028 total votes – another strong showing for People Before Profit in the county, following on from Garett Weldon in 2016 who won 3,462 votes.
Weldon had been slated to run again in 2020 but after he pulled out, Fergus, an activist, stepped into the breach late in the day. She told LouthNow.ie she was very happy with how she had performed in such a short space of time.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” she said. “I never thought I’d get this far on such a short campaign, so little money, no posters and a biased mainstream media. It’s a great day for County Louth. We’ve done amazing.”
Asked whether, should a new government not be formed, she would run again in what may be a matter of months, she confirmed she would gladly.
“If it was anything like this one, I mean a short campaign, [I would],” Fergus said. “I definitely wouldn’t use posters and that would mean getting out to meet the people, which we intend to do. We’ll get our feet on the ground and get out to the provinces and get the lie of the land.
Fergus said that she hoped her candidacy, plus that of the poll topping Imelda Munster, would encourage more women to stand in Louth. Just three of the 15 candidates in all were women.
“It’s been a fantastic experience. I think more women, in particular, should do it if they’ve a chance and young people; get out there and bring your ideas to the play pen and bring them forward.
Fergus also said that she supports bring back town councils across the board in Louth, saying that as it stands towns are being pitted against one other in a battle for resources from Louth County Council and central government.
“There’s a myth between the two towns,” she told us. “People in Drogheda saying Dundalk will get everything. Dundalk people saying the same about Drogheda and Ardee will have its quips as well.
“That’s an absolute myth. We have different things than they have and they have different than the others have. Everyone is deserving. I think it’s important to get down to Drogheda and say ‘We’d love for you to have your town council back’ and Ardee to have a town council.
“We all need functional health services on our doorstep. We don’t need to be commuting – three hour commutes from Drogheda or Dundalk some days,” she continued.
“We shouldn’t be pitted against councils which I think is what’s happening here. Divide and conquer – it has been used for centuries. I think it’s a tactic that the main parties, who’ve had power for 80 years in this country, I think they’re still using it today.”
Fergus’ transfers were distributed during the seventh count on Monday and they were spread out among mostly three candidates – Mark Dearey (Green) received 995, Peter Fitzpatrick (Ind) got 630 and Labour’s Ged Nash received 355.