The ‘Rural Revolution’ campaign of Dr Michael Harty struck a chord with people throughout County Clare who wouldn’t have been interested in politics before this General Election, but with rural Ireland dying around them were turned into activists that combed the county to ensured the sensational performance of the Kilmihil-based GP.
This was the mantra of Clare senior hurling selector Michael Browne who became one of those activists — a man previously not interested in politics but imbued with a sense that Dr Harty’s campaign represented something new and different for the people of the county.
“The angle for me was living in the country all my life and being involved with a rural club in Crusheen where even though we are one of the best senior teams in the county we have to join with Tubber to form underage teams,” Mr Browne told The Clare People.
“I felt we are being forgotten about in the countryside. I am not a political animal in any make, shape or form — I have no interest in politics generally speaking but this just struck a chord with me and I just felt that Dr Harty was saying things that I liked to hear and I just feel we need to keep our countryside alive.
“Clare is a rural county — even Ennis is a rural town and without all of the hinterland and the rural people that feed into Ennis, Ennis would be nothing. The whole county depends on this and that’s why I came out and spoke the way I did. I can’t believe that I did, but it just struck a chord with me,” he added.
Continuing, the Crusheen man said it was “fantastic to see how people got behind that campaign — I know several people who got involved in the campaign and were never involved in politics. I’m at a count here in the Falls Hotel — I wouldn’t have known where it was on before. There are loads of people like me who wouldn’t have an interest but it just struck a chord because we can see are slowly dying in our country areas.
“I would hope that this is a new beginning,” he added, “especially now as it looks as if the independents can have a big say in the formation of a government and fingers crossed Michael Harty can be one of those.”

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