FF opt for New Year selection convention in Longford-Westmeath

Deputy Peter Kelly may face a challenge from Cllr Martin Mulleady at the upcoming Fianna Fail selection convention in Mullingar on January 3 next in the Bloomfield House Hotel.

Deputy Peter Kelly may face a challenge from Cllr Martin Mulleady at the upcoming Fianna Fail selection convention in Mullingar on January 3 next in the Bloomfield House Hotel.

Fianna Fail are expected to select three candidates for the Longford-Westmeath constituency, with one from Longford, and two from Westmeath.

While Deputy Kelly has firmly stated his intention to seek the nomination, Cllr Mulleady, who was nominated by a number of Cumanns in recent weeks, is believed to be still undecided as to whether he will let his name go forward.

Elected as County Councillor for the Drumlish area in 2004, Mulleady was returned as local representative again in 2009, significantly increasing his vote in the process.

Whatever Cllr Mulleady's decision may be, Peter Kelly will certainly contest convention on January 3.

Elected as TD in 2002, as successor to Albert Reynolds, Peter Kelly is now in his second term and remains confident of securing his place on the Fianna Fail ticket for next year's General Election.

"I want to thank the people that nominated me. I have good support within the organisation in the county and I believe that I will be successful," said Deputy Kelly.

Along with the two nominated in Longford, as many as five could be in the running for two Westmeath-based candidates.

Having indicated her intention to run again earlier this year, sitting TD Mary O'Rourke used the social networking site Twitter to confirm her decision to run again as the Athlone (or south Westmeath) candidate, after consulting with her family over the Christmas period.

"Decision made. I am putting myself forward to run in the forthcoming general election. Convention for same will be held Monday, Jan 3rd," she posted on Twitter this week.

The third candidate is expected to be either Cllr Robert Troy (Ballynacargy) or Cllr Aidan Davitt (Mullingar).

The Fianna Fail selection convention for Longford-Westmeath takes place at 3pm on Monday January 3 next in Mullingar's Bloomfield House Hotel.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael have moved strengthen their election ticket with the inclusion of Mullingar-based Cllr Peter Burke - who defeated Cllr Colm Arthur at the selection convention - to join Deputy James Bannon and Senator Nicky McFadden.

In Galway West, however, Kenagh native Padraic McCormack - who is a sitting TD - will not be contesting the next election following his defeat at the Fine Gael Selection Convention in early December.

Mr McCormack confirmed that he will not been seeking a nomination to contest the forthcoming General Election for the party. A TD since 1989, Mr McCormack is Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Chairman. He dramatically failed to secure a nomination from his local constituency organisation selection convention recently. Senator Fidelma Healy Eames received the nomination.