Here are my notes from the initial 3 minute pitches that each Sligo North Leitrim candidate gave at the Big Ticket event in the Clarion last night 16th February.

Well done to the organisers of this superbly run event – Sligo Today and David Lenehan – and to all the sponsors.

I recorded my points and comments on the basis of how the speaker sounded and felt for these 3 minutes, and not by their subsequent performance to questions from the selected groups and from the audience.

I’ve also noted whether they read from a script, used speaker notes or had no speaker notes.

Candidates are listed in the order in which they spoke.

1.Susan O’Keefe (Labour)

No speaker notes. A little nervous. Slow, deliberate delivery. “The Future, Our Children” was the main theme. No articulation of a vision for the future, aspirational. Not a bad start though.

2. Marc McSharry (Fianna Fail)

Some notes. Themes of children/family and political failure. Sounded like an independent.

3. Michael Colreavy (Sinn Fein)

No notes. Theme was economy + FF mismanagment. best line – “I’m not a politician, I’m a community representative. hmmm.

4. Declan Bree (Independent)

Full Script. Channelling anger of the public big time – by attacking party politics – surprise, surprise. Too much detail, too many messages.

5. Tony McLoughlin (FG)

Full Script. 3 minute guide to FG 5 point plan. too much detail – spoke to fast.

6. Eamon Scanlon (Fianna Fail)

No notes. This was hold my hands up time, apologetic, sympathetic, said “sorry”. Looked resigned and a bit deflated.

7. Veronica Cawley (Independent)

No notes. More channneling of public discontent here – but done well by and large. Very simple language. No policy discussed, but used the words “trust” and “trustworthy”

8. Michael Clarke (Independent)

No Notes. First to raise SGH as issue, followed by Jobs, transport, abortion referendum (??), water (being owned by German companies).

9. Alwyn Love (Independent)

Full Script. Full onslaught on party politics, reform required, and the at the time amusing use of the phrase “Use the Power”.

10. John Perry (Fine Gael)

No notes – but needed them. Theme was jobs. Talked about being totally clear, but was, of all speakers – giving a totally incoherent message.

11. Gabriel McSharry (Independent)

No notes. Theme was family and party politics failure, SGH. visibly passionate.

12. Johnny Gogan (Green Party)

No notes. Talked about himself and his background. Unless you were a creative – you might have felt left out of this. Theme was renewable, green jobs. apologised for banking bailout.

13. Dick Cahill (Independent)

Some notes. Fear & Anger of the people. first to mention sovereign debt.


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3 Comments so far

  1. Maire on February 17, 2011 9:10 pm

    Excellent summary, and one I’d pretty much agree with you, though I think you’re a little more sympathetic to some of them than I would be!

  2. Kevin on February 17, 2011 10:07 pm

    Ha! And I thought I had nothing good to say about anybody?

  3. David Mullins on February 18, 2011 5:34 pm

    I would concur on most of the lines with your summary and in the process of gathering first impressions.

    There was common theme of reform and I would say about 40% blame, 55% big policies going forward, that we know means nothing.

    We say the Lisbon POLL posters by ALL parties except one or two declared (promised) Lisbon treaty would be “Jobs for Ireland”.

    None of the Candidates actually focused on how Businesses are going to lead Ireland out of this debt driven economy and fiscal policies.

    When theBigTicket.ie got to the Q&As you clearly saw more behind the Candidates, where I would say about 40% was focused on national debt. One or two Candidate even went as further with a radical solution, similar to Iceland’s case.

    It is apparent that governance reform is the solution and is somewhere in all to Candidates 3 minutes speech. Which, I wish some would actually attend Sligo Toastmasters (SligoToastmasters.ie) for some guidness.

    However, none have provided an opportunity for the people to make to choice by facts and figures. Except with some ping pong with Veronica Cawley and Marc McSharry.

    How, when, some milestones and the expected results.

    Businesses need this information from candidates, and to disclose their regional and national ‘business plans’, so that Businesses know how the invest wisely in the elected.


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