Fine Gael local election run heats up as convention battles loom

Minister Michael Ring and some of Fine Gael's local representatives pictured at the launch of Padraig McCormack's book, 'The Rocky Road to the D�il'. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Local Fine Gael is currently gearing up for its Longford town convention on Sunday, November 3, which will see potential candidates for the local elections emerge.

Local Fine Gael is currently gearing up for its Longford town convention on Sunday, November 3, which will see potential candidates for the local elections emerge.

The Leader has learned Principal of Gaelscoil, Longford, Yvonne Ní Mhurchú has indicated her intention to run in the town electoral area.

Also in the running in the Granard Electoral Area will be Frank Kiernan, Killoe and Maura Kilbride Harkin who lost her seat last time round, as well as another newcomer, Padraig Brady. The convention for this area takes place on November 10.

In south Longford it will be all to play for as it has been established that County Mayor, Cllr Larry Bannon is getting set to retire from the local political arena. It has also emerged that former local area representative in Lanesboro Adie Farrell will not run, however his son Gerard is understood to have put his name forward for the convention on November 24.

Councillors Peggy Nolan, John Browne, Sean Farrell, Colm Murray, John Duffy, Michael Carrigy and Frank Kilbride will definitely be vying for those much coveted seats on Longford County Council in next year’s contest, but as to what will happen on the convention nights, is anyone’s guess at this stage.

In response to rumours that her candidacy was actually illegal, because she was not a member of the Fine Gael Party for the required two years consecutive period, Ms Ní Mhurchú said that the matter had now been clarified by headquarters, and she would continue to pursue a local authority seat. “Clarification on that issue was sought from Fine Gael headquarters and I will be putting my name forward,” she said, adding that it was the Fine Gael Party that had approached her in the first instance, to run. “One of the party strategies is to have more women involved in politics, and I am delighted that I have put my name forward.” Ms Ní Mhurchú’s father Peter Murphy was an established and respected councillor in the Newtownforbes area for a long number of years, before losing his seat in the local elections of 2009. He passed away unexpectedly two years ago.

Meanwhile over in Legan, Paul Ross is gearing himself up for the Ballymahon Electoral Area Convention on November 24. “It looks like there will be four seats in this area, and yes while I am putting my name forward for convention, I am not assuming anything at this stage,” said Mr Ross. “Fine Gael are in Government now and not everything is popular with the electorate, but I will be putting my best foot forward, and remain hopeful that I get through the convention and get on with my campaign; of course I would like to get elected.”