Home News Meet your Candidates: Their earliest political memory and dream careers as a...

Meet your Candidates: Their earliest political memory and dream careers as a child

The clock is ticking. General Election 2020 is now just seven days away.

And here at LaoisToday, we have surveyed all of the 26 candidates who are running in Laois-Offaly and Kildare South.

We asked candidates a total of 13 questions and 16 of them responded in full.

Some of the questions were serious, others were a bit more light-hearted.

We will be publishing their responses every evening between now and the election itself on February 8.

This week we have asked them what the biggest issue in their constituency is, their favourite films and ideal dinner guests, pet hates and favourite TV programmes and whether social media is a good or a bad thing.

Today we ask them about their earliest political memories and what they wanted to be growing up a child.

The death of JFK, De Valera visiting Portlaoise, the ‘Bring back Jack’ stickers, meeting ‘Bertia Hern’, the fall of the Berlin Wall and canvassing on a bicycle are among some of the early memories.

And as children, none wanted to be politicians! Instead, some aspired to be farmers, sports commentators, fireman, nurses and vets.

You can check out the full list of answers below.

The candidates that didn’t respond are listed also.

LAOIS-OFFALY 

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy (Fine Gael)

Your earliest political memory? Canvassing on my bicycle, age 10, for my late father, former Member of Offaly County Council.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? I wanted to be a nurse like my mother.


Charlie Flanagan (Fine Gael) 

Your earliest political memory? The death of John F Kennedy.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? TV Sports Commentator.


Pauline Flanagan (Fianna Fáil) –

Your earliest political memory? At age 14, I went into the sacristy after Mass to tell the priest that I didn’t agree with his sermon. The priest was delighted to see me as a young person questioning things. Fair play to him.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? As a child, I was too busy being a child.  We could do with doing more of that again


Sean Fleming (Fianna Fail)

Your earliest political memory? Sean Lemass being elected Taoiseach as he was a friend of my father.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? A fireman.


Pippa Hackett (Green Party)

Your earliest political memory? Seeing kids wearing green Fianna Fáil stickers at primary school in the run up to an election. I didn’t know what they were!

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? I wanted to be a vet, but did not get the points!


Noel O’Rourke (Renua)

Your earliest political memory? Sean Lemass (1960’s)
EEC membership.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? Mechanic.


Brian Stanley (Sinn Féin) 

Your earliest political memory? The civil rights marches in the North.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? A carpenter.


Noel Tuohy (Labour) 

Your earliest political memory? DeValera coming to Portlaoise

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? A Journalist.


Did not respond: Barry Cowen (Fianna Fail); John Daly (The National Party), John Leahy (Independent); Carol Nolan (Independent), Peter Ormond (Fianna Fáil); Ken Smollen (Irish Democratic Party); Stephen Tynan (People Before Profit),


KILDARE SOUTH

Cathal Berry (Independent) 

Your earliest political memory? The fall of the Berlin Wall.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? I grew up on a farm so I only ever wanted to be a farmer. I loved the early mornings heading across the fields with my Dad and sitting up next to him on the Massey. I think life on the farm toughened me up and showed me the value and importance of hard work.


Linda Hayden (Social Democrats)

Your earliest political memory? Meeting Bertie Ahern when I was eight and he was Lord Mayor of Dublin and thinking that his name was Bertia Hern.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? I wanted to be a vet, I loved animals. I still do, I’ve volunteered with Kildare Animal Foundation and I live with three rescue dogs.


Martin Heydon (Fine Gael)  

Your earliest political memory? Alan Dukes canvassing at our door and then seeing him on TV the next day. My first experience of a bit of celebrity.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? Besides wanting to be a professional footballer I grew up wanting to be a farmer. Politics didn’t feature in my childhood.


Ronan Maher (Green Party) 

Your earliest political memory? Asking my Dad what all the posters were for ahead of the 1997 General Election. Couldn’t understand why all the lamp posts had people’s pictures on them all of a sudden.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? An Architect.


Fiona McLoughlin-Healy (Independent)

Your earliest political memory? I’m a former nurse from a family of nurses so my earliest political memories are of heated debates around the Sunday dinner table. I also remember going with my Dad to canvass for Independent Tom Fox to save the psychiatric hospital my Dad worked at in Castlerea and the General Hospital in Roscommon. Unfortunately, the psychiatric hospital was lost to Castlerea some years later.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? During my teenage years I dreamed of moving to the States and playing basketball full time. I can’t see how that didn’t work out at all 5ft 3 of me!


Anita Mhic Ghib (Aontu)

Your earliest political memory? 1981 Hunger Strikes.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? TV and Radio Presenter.


Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fail) 

Your earliest political memory? Having “bring back Jack” t-shirts.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? A Eurovision singer (very ambitious considering I haven’t a note in my head).


Roisin Ui Bhroin (Solidarity-People Before Profit)

Your earliest political memory? Mary Robinson being elected president. Inspirational.

As a child, what did you want to work at when you grew up? I wanted to be a teacher.


Did not respond: Suzanne Doyle (Fianna Fáil); Patricia Ryan (Sinn Féin); Mark Wall (Labour)

SEE ALSO – Check out all the 2020 General Election coverage on LaoisToday

SEE ALSO – Read all the ‘Meet your Candidates’ pieces here

Previous articleLaois footballers record impressive league win over Armagh
Next articleEight Talking Points as the Laois footballers claim stunning Armagh win
Megan is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. A Raheen native, she's happiest when talking sport, especially soccer but just don't mention the 2019 champions league final