Election2020

Smollen happy with vote in Laois-Offaly but wants food poverty addressed nationally

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

Smollen happy with vote in Laois-Offaly but wants food poverty addressed nationally

Smollen happy with vote in Laois-Offaly but wants food poverty addressed nationally

Offaly county councillor Ken Smollen said that he did no canvassing door to door at all during his campaign for Election 2020.

The candidate got 2,611 first preference votes running for the Irish Democratic Party. He was 10th out of the fifteen Laois Offaly candidates. He has transferred quite well to now sit on 3,640 after the fifth count. He is, though, likely to be eliminated after the sixth count.

“I am more than happy with the number of votes I received,” he said.

He explained why he didn’t go door to door for votes.

“I am out every single day 52 weeks of the year, Christmas day included, getting supplies of food to people experiencing food poverty and it’s a crisis that’s very well hidden. Research says that 750,000 people on this island don’t have enough food to eat every day. Almost all of my campaign was carried out on social media.

“Yesterday I couldn’t get here because I visited 24 families with food,” he said.

Asked why he ran for election, he said that as a newly elected Offaly county councillor for Tullamore, the crisis also has to be dealt with at Government level. 

Cllr Smollen got 1,054 votes in that election. “I intend raising this at council level but it must progress to central Government as well. 

He gets the food from people who buy it and donate it and has distributor volunteers to send it to Offaly and surrounding counties, he said.

“I have what I call about 40 family rescue teams who donate to me once a month, with four storage areas last Christmas, one in Laois and three in Offaly,” Cllr Smollen said.

He added that housing, the homeless crisis and health are also of concern to him.