Labour General Election candidate Denis Hynes to contest Cllr Maurice Shortall’s seat
DENIS Hynes, the Labour Party’s Carlow-Kilkenny candidate in the next General Election, is putting his name forward to contest this year’s local elections, KilkennyNow.ie can reveal.
Mr Hynes has revealed he was asked by his party colleague Cllr Maurice Shortall, who recently announced he was retiring from politics, to put his name forward to contest his vacant seat.
Cllr Shortall will formally nominate Mr Hynes this week.
It’s a brave move for the Goresbridge man, who admitted some in his party are not in favour of the move in case it damages his chances of winning a Dáil seat in the next General Election.
He told KilkennyNow.ie: “I’ve decided it’s the right thing to do so. I’ve been frustrated by many things that are going on locally and I think it’s better to get directly involved in order to bring about change rather than to sit on the sidelines.”
Mr Hynes (pictured above with Labour leader Brendan Howlin) said he was surprised and “honoured” when Cllr Shortall approached him recently and encouraged him to put his name forward for his vacant seat.
“Cllr Shorthall has given the people of Castlecomer and Kilkenny incredible service over the past two decades and it would be an honour to continue the huge amount of invaluable work that he has done on behalf of his constituents,” he added.
If successful, he will certainly have some big shoes to fill – Cllr Shortall topped the poll at the 2004, 2009 and 2016 local elections and is one of Kilkenny’s widely regarded and effective local politicians.
Mr Hynes has been a full-time SIPTU Official for more than 20 years, representing public and private employees. He is also well known for his involvement in coaching local soccer teams.
He has been vocal on several local issues in recent months, in particular in leading the campaign to highlight ongoing road safety concerns at the notorious cross at Goresbridge, an accident black-spot that has been the scene of numerous near-fatal collisions.
Mr Hynes lives in Goresbridge with his wife Angela. They have had five children Colin, Denise, Aidan, Emma (RIP) and Teddy. And the couple had three very good reasons to celebrate yesterday: Denis’ birthday, his and Angela’s 25th wedding anniversary and the birth of their first grandchild, Lilly, all coming together for one incredibly memorable 24-hour period.
Denis and Angela were actually due to be in Rome to celebrate their landmark anniversary but were forced to cancel the trip last week after they both fell victim to a nasty bout of flu. Instead, they celebrated their family ‘treble’ in style “with a takeaway at home”, Denis laughed.