Longford/Westmeath Fianna Fáil general election candidate Joe Flaherty has expressed his desire to fill the vacancy on Longford County Council following Cllr Padraig Loughrey's resignation.
Longford/Westmeath Fianna Fáil general election candidate Joe Flaherty has confirmed he is interested in filling the vacancy that has arisen on Longford County Council following the resignation of his party colleague Padraig Loughrey.
Cllr Loughrey, first elected to the council in 2009, indicated he was resigning his seat with 'immediate effect' on Sunday, citing a desire to put his family and business first ahead of the ever growing demands of local politics.
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Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin led the tributes to Cllr Loughrey, describing him as a 'committed community activist'.
And in interviews since his resignation, Cllr Loughrey stated that Joe Flaherty is his favoured choice of candidate to be co-opted to fill the seat he vacates.
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Mr Flaherty, who in September secured an emphatic victory in the Longford FF selection convention, has also expressed a desire to succeed Cllr Loughrey.
He said he had been contacted by several people over the past 48 hours asking him to allow his name go forward as a co-opted replacement for Cllr Loughrey.
Mr Flaherty remarked, “Padraig set the bar very high and the people will settle for nothing less. I am happy and honoured to have my name associated with the co-option process but Fianna Fáil is a steadfastly democratic party and the position will only be filled with the blessing and agreement of the members of the party in the Longford Municipal District area.”
Mr Flaherty paid tribute to Cllr Loughrey for his commitment to the county of Longford and its people.
He said: “Padraig's motivation was always crystal clear and absolute. He wanted the very best for the people of Longford.”
He went on to say that he was saddened by the announcement but respected and accepted the rationale behind the decision. He said: “Padraig has a young family and an expanding business and it was simply a case that there wasn’t enough time for him to service all his commitments.”
Mr Flaherty added that lesser representatives would have attempted to juggle on but not Padraig.
“Padraig wanted and always strives to give 100% and anything less isn’t good enough. And the huge amount of goodwill towards him, in the aftermath of his announcement, reflects and reinforces the belief that Padraig delivered for Longford people and county.”