Candidate Videos From Kildare North (20 Days To Election)

So, RTE came up with a really great idea for this election cycle, by inviting every registered candidate to film a short one-minute piece to sell themselves to the electorate. You can find the staggeringly long list of candidates here. While the time constraint prevents in-depth outlining of policy, it’s still a very cool way to introduce candidates.

For the moment, I thought I’d take a look at the Kildare North candidates’ offerings, and give some thoughts.

Michael Beirne (Independent)

Recorded late. He rambles on a bit here about a wide variety of topics, coming off as aimless and nervous.

Reada Cronin (Sinn Fein)

Liked this one. Opposition candidates, especially in Sinn Fein I’ve found, tend to do nothing but bash the government, but Cllr Cronin does take the time to mention some of her personal actions in the constituency (as well as bash the government). There’s a clear message and theme here, and annoying reference to 1916 aside (oh, how much if that are we supposed to put up with?) this left a good impression.

Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael)

Man, this wasn’t great was it? Deputy Durkan comes off a little unprepared here, and offers little of substance, even with the short timeframe. It comes off less as a plea for an endorsement and more of an exercise in deflection. And does the housing crisis effect “all of us” Deputy? I imagine not you so much. This seems like a first draft speech, that barely mentions the party he’s running for, deliberately.

Maebh Ní Fhallúin (Green)

This was good. A well-prepared and delivered statement that hit on all of the Greens’ key themes, and even had room for a nifty slogan right at the end (only candidate playing up Irish language too). Healthcare, housing, equal rights. Who could object?

Shane FitzGerald (Renua)

Nothing up yet. I’ll check back later. Doesn’t speak well of him.

James Lawless (Fianna Fail)

Not bad. Seems like a well prepared statement. I like the introduction with his short bio as a way of connecting, and the factual criticisms of the sitting TD’s regards Garda numbers, developments, etc. Seems like a video tailor made for the local audience, which I’m fine with. Bit of a secondary school teacher vibe.

Anthony Lawlor (Fine Gael)

Oh my God, stop looking at your notes, it’s a 55 second speech. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s hard not to be distracted when his eyes keep darting to the lower left every five second. As for the content, seems like fairly boiler-plate “Keep the recovery going” FG speak. Sense of unoriginality from the Deputy.

Ashling Merriman (AAA-PBP)

More looking at notes constantly. Very little of substance here compared to other candidates – seems like “Government bad, me good”, and little else -, and seems overly-nervous on camera. That’s not the worst flaw, but if you’re running for the Dail you should be a bit more confident than this.

Catherine Murphy (Social Democrats)

This is probably the most overtly positive of the bunch, with two sections talking about how great Ireland is/can be, sandwiching a more critical section focused on the government. Murphy has a good delivery, though the 53 seconds here sound more like the end of a stump speech, with an unnecessary shout-out to her fellow Soc Dem members.

Frank O’Rourke (Fianna Fail)

Must have somewhere to be, because this feels rushed. Took a long time to get past pointless introductions – who cares what your daughter’s name is, honestly? – but interesting that the first issue he actually mentioned was homelessness. Had the feeling this was a 90 second speech crammed into 55, and I don’t think he comes off super well, especially compared to Lawless.

Emmet Stagg (Labour)

Ahhh, stop looking at notes! While Stagg is very well-spoken, the duration of this effort – the shortest of the candidates – and the aimlessness of the content don’t really combine well to leave a good impression. A nod to social justice, and nothing else really.

Brendan Young (Independent)

There’s a certain…intensity here that is just a little off-putting, but there is a sincerity too that is very palpable. Standard hard-left talking points abound, which doesn’t appeal to me but I’m sure will to others. Looks like a seasoned campaigner ready for a battle. Decent impression.

If I was to rank:

  1. Maebh Ní Fhallúin
  2. Reada Cronin
  3. James Lawless
  4. Catherine Murphy
  5. Brendan Young
  6. Frank O’Rourke
  7. Ashling Merriman
  8. Brendan Durkan
  9. Anthony Lawlor
  10. Emmet Stagg
  11. Michael Beirne
  12. Shane FitzGerald (NA)
This entry was posted in General Election 2016, Ireland, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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