It has been a week of highs and lows for the Fianna Fáil party in Co Longford as the conventions draw to a close.
All candidates have now been selected to run in the Local Elections 2014 and while there are some new faces, there are others who failed to get the nomination, and a number who have decided to retire from the local political arena altogether. It is also interesting to note now that Fianna Fáil has selected all its candidates to run in Longford, there are no female candidates included in the line-up.
Last Tuesday night, sitting councillor’s Tom Victory and Mick Cahill, as well as newcomer Pat O’Toole were added to the Fianna Fáil election ticket, following a convention in Ballymahon.
It’s new territory for two of the candidates; Cllr Tom Victory has decided to run in the area due to the boundary changes which saw his town of Edgeworthstown move to the Ballymahon LEA, while Pat O’Toole is venturing into politics for the very first time. He is hoping to keep the Fianna Fail seat in Ballymahon which was held for a long number of years by Cllr Barney Steele who will step down in June. Cllr Mick Cahill on the other hand is seeking election for a third term for that area.
In the Longford Arms last Friday night four candidates were put forward for three nominations, and it was town councillor Tony Flaherty who lost out on the night. Seamus Butler, Town Cllr Michael Connellan and Co Cllr Padraig Loughrey were selected.
“The hard work begins now,” said Mr Butler, who lost his seat last time round.
“I will be taking absolutely nothing for granted, but I intend to work hard.”
Cll Flaherty who has been involved in local politics for the last 20 years made no bones about his disappointment in not securing a place.
“I am disappointed that I didn’t get nominated, but running as an Independent is not something that I have even considered,” the town councillor added.
“I won’t say either that I will be gone out of politics because I am still young and there is always five years time. I am still a member of Fianna Fáil and will continue to be for the foreseeable.” Ten Fianna Fáil hopefuls will now vie for the 18 seats on Longford County Council next year.