‘Boxer’ Moran confirms plan for Dáil comeback bid

One of the most high-profile political figures in the region, the former TD and Minster of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, said he is intending to run again for the Dáil, and possibly for the county council if the local elections come first.

The elections for Westmeath County Council are scheduled for May or June of next year, while a general election will happen by March 2025, if not sooner.

'Boxer', the last TD who lived in Athlone, said he believed it has become increasingly apparent the town needed to have a representative in Leinster House.

He lost his seat in 2020, and said his own hope for a return to the political fray would depend on the will of the people.

"I was involved in politics for the best part of 22 years, and if the election comes I'll let my name go forward, but you can't take anything for granted. The electorate makes the decision," he said.

He said many of the State projects currently happening in Athlone, such as the cycleway bridge and new community nursing unit in Clonbrusk, were ones he had helped set in motion as a TD.

"I honestly think our politicians have taken their eye off the ball somewhat when it comes to Athlone. No new investment, of any great nature, has come to the town (since 2020)," he said.

He also said there was a need for political representation to ensure Athlone would be chosen as the site for the proposed new headquarters of the Army.

"I think we need strong representation on that because, if it doesn't get (the Army headquarters), the fear is that something else may take place with Custume Barracks."

While the general election was still some time away, he concluded by saying he was hoping his name would be on the ballot again.

"I miss politics. There's no point in saying I don't, and I have a huge grá for the development of our town."