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Irish Independent: ‘The issue over whether to support the Rossport Five or Shell has divided the county…’

Headline: O’Mahony learns to play political game . . . but manages to keep his eye on the ball

Published: Mar 26, 2007
Extracts from the article

JOHN O’Mahony is on a double mission – to recapture the All Ireland title for Mayo and to win a third seat in the county for Fine Gael.

O’Mahony is looking for votes in a constituency which already boasts five strong sitting TDs – Independent Jerry Cowley, Independent Beverly Cooper Flynn, Fianna Fail’s John Carty and Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny and Michael Ring. All of them are experienced politicians, but O’Mahony said he had his own strengths.

“I like dealing with people and issues and I feel I can make decisions and deal with conflict.”

O’Mahony stopped to pay a brief visit to Swinford garda station, some of whose members are still policing the protests against the construction of Shell’s gas refinery in North Mayo.

The issue over whether to support the Rossport Five or Shell has divided the county and O’Mahony is cautious when asked about it. “There has been an awful lot of mishandling right from the time of the signing over of the royalties to the company. I think the jailing wasn’t solving anything, people felt they had a right to protest,” he said.

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