Aengus O’Rourke, son of former TD Mary O’Rourke was selected uncontested to run in the Longford/Westmeath by-election at last night’s Fianna Fáil convention in Mullingar.
The current town councillor in Athlone was nominated after Frankie Keena and Vinny McCormack withdrew from the race.
Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD - who is expected in Longford tomorrow morning - congratulated O’Rourke and said, “this by-election takes place at an important time for many families across this constituency and across Ireland, as property tax doubles and the Government prepares to levy their new water tax.”
Longford/Westmeath TD and Party front bench spokesperson Deputy Robert Troy pointed to the party’s “embrace” of challenge and reform and to renewal, which he added, “has played a very important role in our communities”.
During last night’s convention calls were made for the party to select a Longford candidate, a call that was unanimously backed by members. A number of questions now remain: will Fiann Fail HQ do a U turn on its decision not to run a Longford candidate? Does Michael Martin expect that Longford members will canvass with O’Rourke and, exactly how much damage has been done to the party in Longford after what some locals are now describing as “catastrophic” decision making over the past week. Interview with Michael Martin will appear tomorrow at noon on www.longford-leader.ie