INDEPENDENT TD Thomas Pringle will endorse and support the campaigns of as many as eleven candidates contesting the 2019 Local Elections across Donegal, it has emerged.
The Killybegs based Deputy, who has been a member of Dáil Eireann since 2011, will host a work-shop for the candidates early next month once all their names are in the public domain.
Two of the candidates, namely Seamus Maguire, who will be formally co-opted to the Council in place of Mr Campbell next Monday, and Cllr Michael Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig are sitting councillors.
They will be joined by fellow Independents Cathal McGlynn (Letterkenny), Alan McMenamin (Ballybofey), Liam Whyte (Ardara) and Valerie McNulty (Ballyshannon) on the ballot paper.
Former Councillor John Campbell, who will co-ordinate and provide support to the candidates, said that they were putting together a good team.
“Thomas will be endorsing candidates in all seven electoral areas – some of whom have not yet formally declared their intentions but who will make themselves known in the coming weeks. We hope to be able to endorse and support as many as eleven candidates,” Mr Campbell said.
“Each candidate will be running as an independent. They won’t have any party tags but, again, we feel we can offer support to a number of like minded individuals, many of whom have been working with Thomas on different issues down through the years.
“There’s many community activists across Donegal who have done trojan work and that is the calibre of person that we would like to endorse. The goal is to elect as many of these people as possible. The candidates we will be endorsing have a track record of their own and there will be no problem with gender balance – unlike some of the more established parties. It’s quite obvious to me that there’s a lot of very good women out there who are willing to put their names forward.
“Some of the people we have spoken to were running anyway while others Thomas has had interaction with over the last ten to fifteen years,” he said.
“These people have a left of centre outlook. They’ve a social conscience and are willing to rail against issues like housing and water charges.
“I hope to use the eight years experience I gained on the Council to help these candidates hit the ground running,” he said.
“Independents, by their nature, won’t agree on things all the time but we’re also coming from the same pool and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead,” he added.