The Fianna Fail party in Longford is to seek an urgent meeting with its leader Michael Martin this afternoon.
The meeting comes on foot of an announcement by Mr Martin this morning that Longford candidates would not be sought to contest the upcoming By Election.
The Leader understands at this stage that the party is to select a candidate in Athlone only. Just last Thursday both Pat O’Rourke and sitting councillor Padraig Loughrey indicated their intentions to seek nomination to contest the by election, however as of today, it appears that both men have been served a serious political blow. The convention is set to take place tomorrow evening (Tuesday) at the Bloomfield Hotel in Mullingar.
“We want a meeting with Michael Martin today and we will put forward a very strong case to him as to why he should run a candidate in Longford,” Mr O’Rourke said. “This is not a good decision to make, not good at all.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Loughrey described the events of the last few hours as “unfortunate and regrettable” “Fianna Fail HQ has taken the decision to only allow candidates from the Athlone area contest the nominations for the upcoming by election,” he said, adding “this decision is, in my view, undemocratic and not in the best interest of the party. I will continue to raise the cause of Longford to the best of my ability and really the fact that this decision was taken only serves to underline the importance of having a strong voice in Longford, and the need for our county to unite in order to be heard. I will be focussing my attention on seeking re-election to Longford County Council and delivering for the people of the mid Longford area.” Updates on www.longford-leader.ie