Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Parties make final pleas for votes

Bridgie O'Malley, 83, is helped by her son Joe after casting her vote on the island of Inishbiggle

Political parties have made last ditch appeals for support as the scramble to win over voters intensified in the run-up to Friday's election.

As more than 1000 voters on islands off Galway were casting their ballots, candidates across the country hit the campaign trail for the last full day of canvassing.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore urged people to use their vote to elect a fair and balanced government.

He said on Thursday while campaigning in his Dun Laoghaire constituency: "Tomorrow, power is returned to the Irish people. Sometimes, it may not feel as though, as individuals, our voices count but tomorrow your vote is the only thing that counts."

In Donegal, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said the people had been duped by the outgoing Government. He said: "We have to tell the truth. We are living in many cases with a national heartbreak, reeling from the national confidence trick pulled on us by the Government and those to whom they ceded power."

Campaigning in Drogheda, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams claimed the party would put "real political backbone" into the Dail.

"At this crucial point in our country's history it is time for citizens to make a stand for a better way," Mr Adams said. "The most effective way to do that is to come out tomorrow and to vote for Sinn Fein."

Green Party leader John Gormley urged voters to keep a green representation in the Dail. He claimed on Thursday that the party was fighting for the last seat in five Dublin constituencies and in Louth, Carlow-Kilkenny, Galway West and Cork South Central.

"Depending on what the voters decide tomorrow, we are ready to work with other parties in government to fix the Irish economy and restore jobs," Mr Gormley said.

Canvassing in Cork, Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin urged people to reflect carefully on the party's policies before they cast their vote. He said: "The issues facing our country are too serious for political game playing or make belief economics."

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