#RTE #GE11 Election Day Road Trip…

On Friday myself and Peter Geoghegan will be driving down through Ireland for polling day, convening a short series of Tweet Ups. We begin in Cavan at the Farnham Arms Hotel first thing in the morning, moving on to Hannon’s Hotel in Roscommon for lunch time and then on to Kilkenny for the final meet up over tea time.

Here’s our reasoning for choosing these constituencies:

Cavan Monaghan. Could be an early indicator of the extent of the Fine Gael surge. If they gain three seats here they may be on the way to single party government. Also the constituency on of the few where Sinn Fein is running a second candidate. #RTE #GE11 #cnmn

Roscommon South Leitrim. Local colour with independent candidate Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan who, as well as spearheading a local hospital campaign, has campaigned for cannabis legalisation for the last decade, and last year became Mayor of Roscommon. Also a possibility that Sinn Fein could sneak one against Fianna Fail. #RTE #GE11 #rssl

Carlow Kilkenny. Interesting because Fianna Fail’s dissenter in chief, former Minister of State John McGuinness is standing. Not cut and dried that he will win. In Mary White it has one of the few Green candidates with a chance. Labour and Fine Gael also set to make a gain of one seat each. Kathleen Funchion of Sinn Fein may also be in the running.  #RTE #GE11 #cwkk

The constituency tags developed by Suzy at Maman Poulet. The format for each event is pretty straightforward:

– A half hour opening session chaired by myself, covering: local issues; who’s up & who’s down; expectations for the next government &c.

– Half hour for video interviews and informal chats among local tweeters (‘meet and tweet’), Facebookers, plain old fashioned non digital voters.

– Half hour uploading data-rich content (photos, short video clips, short‘audio clips &c) to Twitter stream.

And just so this is not just Internet folk talking to other Internet folk, if you are coming we also ask that you bring along an older friend or relative who does not ‘do’ Facebook, Twitter or blogs. If you don’t live handy to any of these ‘Tweet Ups’, I’d be grateful if you’d pass it on to a friend that does.

Spread the word, keep in touch through our Facebook page. And follow our favourite local election Tweeters in Cavan Monaghan; Roscommon South Leitrim; Carlow Kilkenny. Our hope is we’ll create an intelligent local #GE11 buzz on Twitter and bring you early news from three fascinatingly poised constituencies directly from the mouths of local people themselves…

You can follow me on Twitter @mickfealty and Peter @peterkgeoghegan…

  • John Ó Néill

    Might not be a good idea to land into Carlow-Kilkenny saying that Cavan-Monaghan is the only constituency where SF are running two candidates. At least you will be far enough from Mayo that it won’t be mentioned too.

    You’d not want to be accused of being more northerners interfering in southern politics etcetcetc (obviously you can delete this Mick…)

  • Mick Fealty

    Amended (shame-facedly!) Part of the idea is not that we pontificate, but that we pick up local voices and encourage a local conversation.

    I’m not expecting droves of people but enough to get a good local conversation going on Twitter/Facebook.

  • John Ó Néill

    Sorry for the sarcasm. Have you a venue in Carlow-Kilkenny yet?

  • Mick Fealty

    No, the first we tried was a bite pricey. Should have it sorted by the end of the day. Interested in coming John? Be good to get you along to one of them!

  • Mick Fealty

    Also we’re keen to target ordinary folk, we’ll be inviting a few local journos/editors to make things interesting… There’s an open invitation to all candidates, though I suspect many will be stuck in their patch of the constituency…

    Love this for instance: https://twitter.com/#!/CarlowPeople/status/39986901993795584

  • Tochais Síoraí

    R-SL is a real dogfight, and the transfers will go all over the place which will make it interesting. The FG 2, Ming, Kenny SF, Connaughten FF, Kelly Labour, Mc Dermott Hospital (and ex Ros GAA player) are all contenders. Conventional wisdom has the 2 FG and a battle for the third but the 2nd FG seat could be in the mix as well.

    Ming has the Zeitgeist factor and should be home and hosed as long as he stays ahead of Kelly (who he canvassed for last time when Kelly was an independent). Kenny SF will finish well ahead of the 2nd FFer Kilraine on 1st P’s and an interesting one to look for is where Kilraine’s transfers will go. An awful lot will stay in Leitrim with Kenny rather than to his party colleague.

    Anyway, prediction – Naughten FG, Ming and Feighan FG.

    But Kenny will give it a rattle. If he does squeeze it, it might be at the expense of the 2nd FG seat.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Ming has the Zeitgeist factor ‘

    LOL – Roscommon South Leitrim ? isnt that a bit uber ?
    Ming is shoo in -he’ll collar the Chinese vote with the Ming factor and the German vote with th’oul Zeitgeist .And then there’s the atheist vote – Ming notoriously as Mayor of Roscommon – refused to lead the prayer said before council meetings, because as a non-believer he said it would be hypocritical. The Deputy Mayor Ernie Keenan eventually placated the heaven magician . With all that behind him and then the student vote he should at least make a quota ?

    I suppose if elected we’ll have in outermost Roscommon and the wetlands of South Leitrim a new Ming dynasty 😉 ?

  • John Ó Néill

    I’m afraid I’ll only make it as far west as Carlow on Friday.

    Loved this off the Carlow People twitter feed (on who their ‘keep your vote in Carlow’ campaign won’t do down well with): Nor with the know-it-alls who once watched a Vincent Browne show, heard the phrase “parish pump politics” and like to feign outrage.

    Me, to a tee…

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Greenflag, no doubt you’ll be coming to Carrick’s Chinatown and the bierkellars of Boyle to join in the celebrations.

    Anyway, still on Ming, about 10 years ago in the days when he used his full title of Ming the Merciless he got caught with some dope and refused to pay the fine, announcing publicly he would do the couple of weeks in jail instead in protest His mother was appalled at the prospect of the young fella in prison and got his father to pay the fine. Luke snr was immediately dubbed Ming the Merciful from then on.

  • Mick Fealty

    At the end of the first day, Cavan Monaghan is filling up nicely, and quite few for Carlow Kilkenny. Just me and Peter for Roscommon South Leitrim.