The race is on for the seat left vacant on Longford County Council by Cllr Paddy Belton (FG) who died suddenly at the end of April.
Three men are in the running presently, and it will be the members of the Ballymahon Branch of Fine Gael that will determine the eventual successor to Cllr Belton, during a convention that will be held in Abbeyshrule next Monday night, June 17. Over the past week or so, things have begun to heat up somewhat in this local political battle to secure that much coveted seat at Co Council headquarters.
23-year-old Colm Murray from Kenagh is still hanging in there. A lecturer at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), he hails from Cllr Belton’s home of Kenagh, and the Kenagh people will not want to see the seat that Cllr Belton held for 14 years go to an outsider. Prior to becoming a TD for Longford/Roscommon, Louis Belton - the late Cllr Paddy Belton’s brother - held the seat on the local authority.
Meanwhile, Kevin Canavan from Ballymahon has also thrown his hat into the ring. The former ag-science lecturer is very well known locally and is a former county footballer. Forgney native Jimmy O’Meara is also in the race. He is a farmer and auctioneer and well known in farming and political circles across the county. At this point the Leader understands that former local area representative and Lanesboro native Adie Farrell has pulled out, opting instead to run for election next year.