Cllr William O’Leary.

O’Leary to run as Independent in next election

A Cork County Councillor has left Fianna Fáil citing the party’s failure to “listen to the ordinary people on the everyday issues and struggles” as his main reason.

In a post on his Facebook page, Cllr William O'Leary of the Fermoy Municipal District said he has been disgruntled with Fianna Fáil for some time.

He said he made the decision to step away “with a very heavy heart but with a clear conscience.”

Cllr O’Leary, who is from Rathcormac, said he feels Fianna Fáil has changed dramatically over the past decade and was of the opinion that the party has abandoned many core values that he would have held dear.

“People who know me know that I am a straight-talking individual. Whether you agree with me or not I would hope that people would see that I put honesty above all else,” said Cllr O’Leary.

The councillor continued: “I cannot in good conscience put myself forward as a Fianna Fail candidate when I know my heart and soul wouldn’t be in it.

“I am an independent thinker and I found following the herd on important issues very difficult. In my view this is not what being a public representative is about,” he added.

The councillor also went on to say that he had agonised long and hard over recent months on how best he can best represent those who elect him.

He confirmed he had made the “very difficult” decision to move forward as an independent candidate for the forthcoming local elections in June.

“People will of course have the final say on whether they want to elect me or not, but I feel in my role I have to be honest and upfront,” continued Mr O’Leary.

The county councillor also said: “People may put it down to me looking for electoral success but that is certainly not the case.

“I enjoy working with people, I enjoy helping people and if the people decide that I am not for them that is their democratic right.

“I am certainly not your typical politician who jumps into photographs for the sake of it.

“I have a very simple view on how this job should be done. People will have their say in June and I look forward to what I hope is your continued support,” he added.