There was no joy for Longford’s Pat O’Rourke as he lost out to Senator Thomas Byrne from Meath in Fianna Fail’s Euro Convention for the Midlands and North West constituency which was held in Mullingar on Saturday.
The convention which was chaired by Timmy Dooley TD was attended by 600 members. Local TD Robert Troy and party Leader Michael Martin were also in attendance.
O’Rourke polled very well garnering 230 votes which was over 41% of the poll. Senator Byrne received 314.
Despite not getting the nod O’Rourke was delighted with the support he received. Speaking to the Leader he said: “I am honoured and grateful to have received such overwhelming support from the members in Longford. The turnout was the highest recorded for any county in the Euro Conventions and it demonstrates their commitment and determination to have a Longford Fianna Fail candidate for Europe.
“While I’m disappointed, I’m immensely proud of the outstanding efforts of Longford members.”
With Byrne joining Donegal’s Pat the Cope Gallagher on the ticket for the May 23 election O’Rourke is committed to getting the two elected: “I am leaving the stage for now, to begin the canvass to elect the two excellent candidates this party has chosen.”
Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin told the covention that there will be opportunities for Mr O’Rourke in the party in the future.