The Granard electoral area promises to be one of the most hotly contested districts in May after Fine Gael chiefs decided to add three more names to its party ticket, writes Liam Cosgrove.
Sitting councillors John Duffy and Frank Kilbride join Granard Town Mayor, Cllr Maura Kilbride Harkin in a line up that also includes Cllr Micheal Carrigy and newcomer, Padraig Brady.
Cllr Carrigy and Mr Brady were selected at the party’s convention back in November with one or possibly two likely to be added at a later stage.
Almost three months later, party bosses have agreed to put five candidates forward for election in a little over four months time.
One of those, Cllr John Duffy, said he had been expecting his nomination to be confirmed but said he will be taking nothing for granted.
“I think my record speaks for itself, since I was elected in 2009 and I will be hoping the general public will see that,” he said.
Fine Gael bosses have, in the meantime, dismissed fears selecting five candidates to run in a newly revised Granard electoral area could split the party’s vote.
“The Party’s Executive Council believes Fine Gael has put in place an excellent team in the Granard electoral area,” said General Secretary, Tom Curran.
“We are very confident of success in the local elections in Longford.”
Meanwhile, and as reported on the Leader’s website earlier this week, Longford Town Cllr James Keogh confirmed his intention to seek election in Granard also.
“I have always spoken out on issues that concern people and this, in my opinion, is what people want,” he said.
It means Granard now has 11 potential candidates vying for just six seats.