BRIGHT spark Kerry student Tommy Cahill has been edged out in his bid to become President of the Students’ Union in University College Cork.
The high-profile election, which was contested by five candidates from different faculties, was won by Alan Hayes, from Kilkenny, a social rights campaigner and fundraiser who is studying for a BSc in Social Science.
Following a two-day window for students to cast their votes, the counting of the ballot papers went into a second day having been adjourned in the early hours of this Thursday morning.
Tommy, a 21-year-old from Glenbeigh, studying for a Masters in International Accounting Practice, polled extremely well and had big support from his fellow Kerry students but he had too much ground to make up in the end.
Politics is very much in his blood as his father, Michael Cahill, has been a member of Kerry County Council for 28 years and he is currently campaigning to be added to the Fianna Fail ticket in Kerry for the next general election.
Tommy’s grandfather, the late Tom Cahill, was also a long-serving Fianna Fail councillor and, following his sudden death in 1990, Michael, was co-opted to his seat which he has comfortably held in every subsequent election.
In a video message of support posted on social media (link above) on the eve of polling day, Kerry TD, Michael Healy-Rae, sent Tommy his best wishes and urged UCC students to support him.
Interestingly, however, while Deputy Healy-Rae said he has the pleasure of knowing and liking “young Tommy’s grandfather”, he made no mention of his dad, Michael, with whom he had served on Kerry County Council for several years.
They have been embroiled in a number of high-profile differences of opinion on local issues in recent years, particularly over the Healy-Raes issuing bereavement packs to families who have lost loved ones.
Some of Tommy’s other high-profile campaign supporters included Kerry footballer Darran O’Sullivan and Mayo star Aidan O’Shea while winning candidate Alan Hayes was backed by Olympian Rob Heffernan.
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