McFadden and Burke to run for Fine Gael in next election

Athlone senator Gabrielle McFadden and Mullingar TD Peter Burke have been chosen from Westmeath to contest the Longford-Westmeath constituency for Fine Gael at the next general election.

The two local representatives were chosen alongside Longford councillor Micheál Carrigy at a selection convention this Tuesday in the Mullingar Park Hotel, which was initially scheduled in response to the political crisis enveloping the government.

The crisis was abated on Tuesday with Tánaiste Francis Fitzgerald’s resignation.

Athlone councillor Tom Farrell had been nominated to run for a seat, but withdrew his name following a directive from the party that one of the three candidates must be female.

Deputy Peter Burke said he is honored to be selected as a candidate in the Longford-Westmeath constituency.

“I am guided consistently by two principles - honesty and integrity - and I try my utmost in all my work to abide by these. I am a firm believer that if you work hard in politics you can reap the benefits for your constituents and your constituency, and this is my driving force,” Deputy Burke commented.

Senator McFadden said she is delighted to be once again chosen as a Fine Gael candidate for Longford-Westmeath.

“I love politics and I am into public service not self service, so anything I can do for anyone I will do it, and it is a privilege for me to be representing South Westmeath in the next election, whenever that may be,” Senator McFadden commented.

Cllr Tom Farrell expressed his disappointment that he will not be running, but wished his party colleagues all the best.

“I am disappointed, but I am also a team player,” he said. “I would like to wish my three party colleagues all the best when running. But I have raised concerns regarding gender quotas, because it is said that they may be increased to 40 per cent for the next election, and I think that is going to cause problems,” he added.

Fianna Fáil cancelled its own convention in the wake of the Táinaiste’s resignation, and it will instead take place in the Bloomfield House Hotel on Tuesday, December 5.

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