The election campaign of Cllr. John Kelly received a major boost this week with news that his fellow independent councillor on Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan from Castlerea, is to back his campaign. The announcement was made at last weekend’s Castlerea election launch in Hell’s Kitchen. ‘I am voting number one for John Kelly,’ said Cllr. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan to an enthusiastic crowd at the launch. ‘And let us be under no illusion there are enough Independent votes in this constituency to elect him to the Dáil. All you have to do is look at the poll-topping victories of John and myself in the Council elections, and the success of Tom Crosby, Tony Ward and the two HAC candidates. And finally add to all that John Kelly’s work ethic and achievements to date, and our local candidate can be elected,’ added Flanagan. Guest of honour, Independent TD and MEP Marian Harkin again also endorsed Cllr. Kelly’s ?candidacy. "John Kelly is a problem solver and knows how to get things done. There is an opportunity; remember Roscommon has a tradition of returning ?strong independent voices. John can be the new torch carrier for this constituency. He has been a very valuable link to me for what’s happening on the ground in this constituency, and I strongly recommend that people give him a number one or two." In his speech, Kelly also called on Castlerea people to judge him based on his achievements for his Ballaghaderreen constituents, a €250,000 playground, rural transport for the elderly and rurally isolated and major infrastructural improvements in the area e.g., Crenane Bridge and Ballaghaderreen lighting. ‘In addition, as a founder member, I spent many days and nights with a few other people setting up the Castlerea and District Credit Union. I guarantee you that I will commit 24/7 to the needs of the Roscommon/ South Leitrim constituency – I also believe in action not just empty promises and words. Indeed if elected I will immediately work with Cllr. Flanagan to achieve his goal of roofing the Castlerea Pool,’ he continued. He also outlined his commitment to reopening rural Ireland with the retention and upgrade of services in Roscommon Hospital at the forefront. ‘For the past twenty-three years, I have worked at the coalface in the context of health issues in my role as Community Welfare Officer. I can now say categorically on behalf of all my constituents; retention and expansion of services is imperative,’ he said. ?’And lets be real about the current situation – the fact that the HSE have not now come forward with new proposals for the Hospital appears to signal that the new direction may not be what the people of Roscommon will want. Indeed at a recent meeting with Mr. Alan Moran, I was informed that no new proposals will be put before the general election. It is my opinion that only people power will guarantee the safety of this important health facility, and electing an Independent who could hold the balance of power may be the way to do it,’ he added. ‘It is obvious from the doorsteps around this constituency that the time is right for change. People want results, they are fed up with promises and no action,’ he finished. Other issues highlighted were the need for an ambulance base in West Roscommon and the development of an effective rural transport solution.