Sean Kyne Reflects on Losing his Galway West seat in GE2020

Listen to Sean Kyne reflecting on losing his seat

By Keith Faherty

Former Galway West TD Sean Kyne is unsure of his political future after losing his seat during GE2020.

Kyne (Fine Gael) finished behind his running mate Hildegarde Naughton.

His tally of 8,020 was 1,000 votes shy of Naughton, who failed to meet the quota and was elected due to having received the greater number of votes. 

Kyne suggested that the general election was a surprise, with many people not anticipating the surge in support for Sinn Féin candidates. 

This was a big blow for a lot of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil candidates.

Galway West followed the national trend in this way, with Mairéad Farrell (Sinn Fein) becoming the first Sinn Fein candidate to be elected in the constituency since the 1930s. 

This time around it was not to be for Kyne, who is more focused on rural areas, while Naughton is more city-based and gets better transfers from that area.

The votes let him down in his locality of Moycullen and Oughterard.

He went down over various projects that he promised would happen, but they didn’t come to fruition. People were not satisfied.

“There was a sense of frustration in the local community, regarding perceived lack of delivery and I understand that, there was a lot of projects that I was supporting, that did not get over the line,” said Kyne.

“Whether it be objections or planning delays, I think that certainly added to the sense of frustration in the community that impacted on my vote.”

Kyne, looking forward, will need time to reflect on what lies ahead for him, will he wait around till next election. He has not decided on what will he do.

He said that he always had an interest in politics. He is unsure whether he will be a part of Fine Gael in the future and that he has no idea on what he will be doing next.

Being a politician takes up a lot of time. There is a lot of pressure, and with it comes a lot of criticism if you don’t do the right things. 

It’s very hands-on, it’s not like a daily shift from 9 to 5 pm. It takes up all your time, it’s 24-7.

Reflecting on the election, he ponders on what he will do next. 

“The next challenge is what I do with myself, whether I stay in politics,

whether I want to stay in politics, whether I want to get another job that has more sociable hours and is less pressurized,” said Kyne

“It’s a decision I’ll have to talk to my family and supporters about.

Politics is not easy, and I think it’s getting worse in terms of social media and the anonymity of social media and platforms where people can say what they like and accuse you of different things that may not be true.

It is getting dirtier and nastier.

“We have to question whether it is good to continue on that basis or whether we should pull back.”

The candidates that have been elected for Galway City West are

Catherine Connolly (Independent) Eamon Ó Cúiv (Fianna Fail), Noel Grealish (Independent), Mairéad Farrell (Sinn Fein) and Hildegarde Naughton (Fine Gael).

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