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Transformed Labour politician hopes to transform the Dail – Cllr John Mulvihill

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TRANSFORMED Labour candidate Cllr John Mulvihill, who once weighed in at a hefty 26 stone, is battling hard for the chance to unleash a similar operation transformation in the Dail.

“Losing the weight was the biggest battle of my life but now that I have achieved it, I feel ready for anything. Now is the time for transformation in Irish politics,” he said.

A hearty appetite for change among the electorate could see Cllr Mulvihill take a sizable bite out of the decimated Fianna Fail vote, in a constituency left wide open by the departure of former TD Ned O’Keefe. Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein candidates now face an epic battle to tip the scales of public opinion in their favour.

Political analyst Noel Whelan this week placed Mulvihill in with a chance to land a seat in the four seat constituency, inching ahead of Sinn Fein’s Sandra McClellan. Transfers from running mate Sean Sherlock TD (Labour) should beef up his share of the vote.First elected to the Dáil in 1992, Cobh-based Cllr Mulvihill lost his seat in 1997. Ten years later, out on the canvass for the 2007 campaign, a woman on a doorstep served up a line that prompted Mulvihill to turn his life around.

“She took one look at the picture on the leaflet and said ‘we couldn’t send that man to the Dail.’ It was difficult to hear but in a way it was what I needed. I’d battled for a long time with my weight and had dropped five stone through dieting, but I just couldn’t shift the rest,” he said.

Committed to achieving his goal weight, the long serving councillor opted for radical gastric surgery, in a bid to turn his life around. Now weighing in at a healthy 14 stone, Mulvihill has approached this campaign with a renewed energy, claiming he has never felt better. But with obesity tipping epidemic levels, Cllr Mulvihill is committed to pushing for greater HSE support mechanisms for those battling the bulge. The Irish Heart Foundation predicts that Ireland’s growing obesity problem will see 50% of the population overweight in 25 years time.

“Weight loss is about conviction and perseverance, just like politics. People battling obesity need support. The HSE should consider introducing gastric surgery to offset the massive obesity problem this country is facing, especially as childhood obesity figures are reaching crisis levels,” he said.

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