Fianna Fáil's Áine Smith shares a moment with Fine Gael's Peter McVitty after the latter was eliminated from the local election race last weekend.

'I'll dust myself off'- McVitty

Fine Gael stalwart served on the council for 25 years.

Fine Gael's Peter McVitty was in Cavan Town on Monday morning bright and early. He was driving past and thought to pop into Fine Gael House near the local bus station after seeing one of his posters sitting in the window. “I though I'd better take it down, otherwise what'd people be thinking and we gone,” he half laughs. “I was disappointed, yes, but that's politics, and the day you go into it and are elected is the day you have to start thinking again about five years down the line.”

When the Celt first spoke to him on Sunday night, in the wake of Count 6 and his elimination with no seats left to be filled, he asked for space to consider his thoughts. He'd just been over, with his wife Susan, to thank several of the count staff who also worth within the various mechanisms of Cavan County Council. Some were tearful. They'd gotten to know McVitty over his 25 years in public office, his friendly face, warm yet thundering tone, and the affable way he went about his business- quietly and deliberate.

He once said in a council meeting “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”.

McVitty meant it too. It wasn't just a throwaway comment, rather a formula for how to approach life as a public representative.

What happened with on Sunday he sums up as “the democratic way” of things.

“Its the way the votes fell and that's what finished me. I had 25 years in it, and I hope I did some good for somebody along the line. I'll dust myself off. That's it.”

McVitty doesn't shy away when accepting he was “disappointed” by the level of vote he got from his home town of Ballyconnell.

Though his overall first preference (988) improved on 2019, according to tallies he found himself down in areas he didn't expect.

“I thought there'd be a better vote there for me to be honest with you. All of West Cavan I thought should've come out better for me because of the unmerciful amount of money that's gone into these rural areas.”

He thanks his family and supporters for their support, and reserves special praise for the council staff he has worked with down through the years.

“They're second to none,” he says. “From the day I went in in 1999 until the day I left last Friday, I have to say you couldn't meet more respectable and helpful people and they do an awful lot of work behind the scenes that no one appreciates.”

He concludes by saying for himself: “So long as you have your health you keep going. It'll take time to set in, and that's life. Its not something you just walk away from. You give 25 years of your life to anything it stays with you.”