It could be the plot of a reality TV show: Two brothers, both former reality TV contestants, both running for a council for the first time in next year’s local elections.
Following on from Fine Gael’s selection of formercontestant and panto star Richie Hayes as a local election candidate in Waterford, Mr Hayes’s brother, John Hayes, has expressed an interest in running as a first-time Sinn Féin candidate in 2024’s local elections.
John Hayes is also a reality show star — appearing last year in season one of Discovery Channel’s wood carving competition show
A chainsaw wood carver, John has produced a number of large installations including the 23m-long Dragonslayer Viking sword in Waterford city centre.
His entertainer brother Richie has starred in pantomimes for over 20 years, was runner-up in RTÉ One’sin 2012 and appeared as Cathy Brown’s love interest in the 2017 christmas special.
Richie’s selection to run for a seat in the Tramore -Waterford City West constituency was announced at a local Fine Gael convention at the end of August.
However, Sinn Feéin TD for Waterford David Cullinane confirmed at the weekend that John has “expressed an interest” in running on the Sinn Féin ticket.
If he runs in the Tramore-Waterford City West constituency, which includes the village of Fenor where John’s wood-carving business, Special Branch Carvers, is based, this would see the brothers pitted against each other.
Richie told thethat his brother John had been abroad at a US wood carving competition and he wasn’t aware of the details of his brother’s hopes to run.
“David Cullinane has confirmed that he’s in the mix, and that’s all we know,” he said.
“We’re good brothers and we get on well. He’d be a great ambassador for the city as well, no doubt about it.
“There’s no guarantee he’d run in the same constituency as me, which would be great.
“Waterford’s a big place and he’s very well known around the place.”
John told the that he would discuss his election hopes after his return to Ireland from the US next week.
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