Longford’s Pat O’Rourke is urging Fianna Fail delegates across Longford and Westmeath to cast their votes this weekend in the ballot to select Fianna Fail’s candidates for the Midlands North West Constituency in the forthcoming Euro elections.
With over 900 delegates eligible to vote across Longford and Westmeath, Mr O’Rourke is hopeful of securing a place on the Fianna Fail ticket.
“It is all going to depend on the numbers who turn out,” he told the Longford Leader this week.
Fianna Fail will host the s election convention in the Mullingar this Saturday, March 15.
Mr O’Rourke is one of three people running for two places on the Fianna Fail ticket in this constituency.
Sitting MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher and Senator Thomas Byrne from Co Meath are also in the running.
Speaking to the Longford Leader this week, Mr O’Rourke said he is confident he’ll secure selection.
“Based on the initial reaction of the people of my constituency I have been assured that the vast experience I have gained through working for over 20 years in the Agri-Food Sector, negotiating on behalf of the people on issues at Regional, National, European level, has left me as a very strong candidate to secure a second seat for Fianna Fáil in this extensive constituency.
“I want to continue to fight for this region because I believe it is more important than ever that we are represented at the European Parliament by somebody with significant experience and who understands the system and the issues affecting people all over this constituency.
“The Midlands/North-West region has been particularly badly hit by the economic downturn and tackling unemployment is a key priority for me.”
Mr O’Rourke has extensive links in the farming sector.
He is a former President of Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) and is currently the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Livestock and Meat Commission which advises the Northern Ireland Power Sharing Administration on the development of the livestock sector.
In advance of the convention Mr O’Rourke has outlined his main priorities as tackling unemployment in the Midlands North West area through greater regional development and through more support from Europe for local employment generating initiatives.
Meanwhile Roscommon TD Luke ‘Ming Flanagan has indicated that he is contemplating entering the Euro race as an independent candidate in the Midlands North West constituency.
He said yesterday on Twitter that he was discussing the matter with his family .