The first of Fianna Fáil’s selection conventions in Longford took place last night in Aughnacliffe for the Granard Area.
Four candidates were selected; sitting councillors PJ Reilly, Luie McEntire and Martin Mulleady all made it safely through convention, while newcomer John Coyle - son of former local area representative in Edgeworthstown, Jimmy Coyle - also secured his name on the Local Elections 2014 ticket.
Eamon O’Cuiv TD chaired the convention at a packed Aughnacliffe Community Centre, where over 120 delegates gathered to vote. Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy was also in attendance.
Speaking to the Leader following his nomination, Cllr Reilly said that he was very grateful to all those who had voted for him and he committed himself to “working closely” with the people of his area, should he be re-elected. “I’m delighted and thanks to everyone for supporting me ,” he said, adding that he had served nine and half years on the local authority, and was ready for another term. “I intend to work with the people of Granard and the surrounding areas and indeed with the other elected members to make our communities better places in which to live.”
Meanwhile newcomer, John Coyle said the opportunity to put his name forward presented itself because of the divisions in the Local Electoral Area boundaries. “The was an opportunity to run someone in the Ballinalee, Cullyfad, Ennybegs area and I sought the nomination,” Mr Coyle said, adding that he intends to do his best to represent the people of his area, and “try and improve everyone’s circumstances”.
Mary Lillis’ withdrawl from the race on the night, left the road clear for sitting councillor Martin Mulleady who subsequently took the nomination unopposed.
On Tuesday night, December 3 next at 8pm, the convention for the Ballymahon District takes place in Cooney’s Hotel. Sitting councillors Tom Victory and Mick Cahill have put their names forward, while General Manager, St Christopher’s Services, Pat O’Toole will also vie for selection - following the announcement of party stalwart, Cllr Barney Steele to retire from local politics.
Then on Friday night, December 6 the Mid Longford convention takes place in Longford town. Five candidates including Michael Connellan, Tony Flaherty, Seamus Butler and sitting councillors Denis Glennon and Padraig Loughrey will battle it out to secure one of the three seats available.