The opening battle lines ahead of the next general election were drawn over the weekend as Fine Gael set its stall out to re-establish its Oireachtas presence in Longford.
Heading up that offensive will be County Councillor Micheál Carrigy after the Ballinalee man secured the party's nomination at a selection convention last Friday night.
The Ballinalee man clinched victory thanks to a 66 vote winning margin over fellow County Councillor Paul Ross.
Around 500 or more party members lined the inner confines of the Longford Arms Hotel in a ballot which also took in an appearance from party leader and incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
And despite much of the media spotlight being foisted on the shoulders of the Dublin West TD, it was his north Longford party colleague who won the adulation of those watching on.
Now, and with the welcoming cushion of a weekend to gather his thoughts, the father of three has set his sights on cementing his new found mandate between now and the next election.
“The campaign recommences from today,” were his exact words some 72 hours after his electoral triumph was rubber-stamped.
“There is a lot of work to be done in Longford.
“But I am confident of doing that work to maintain and improve our services so that the Fine Gael party reclaims the seat it lost while at the same time improving our county and county town.”
For more, see pages 6-7.