County councillor Martina Kinane has become the first woman to put her name forward as a potential Fianna Fáil Galway West candidate for Election 2016.
Speculation on who will join Éamon Ó Cuív on the party ticket for the constituency has focussed on city councillors Peter Keane and, particularly, Ollie Crowe.
However with the new gender quotas to encourage more female candidates - parties will lose a portion of their State funding if they fail to meet a 30 per cent threshold of female candidates - there is a strong chance of a woman being included on the next ticket.
Cllr Kinane, who represents the Oranmore/Clarinbridge region said the next General Election “will be a defining moment for the economic and social future of rural Ireland and I want to play a part”.
She outlined “improving the economic prospects of” rural Ireland as a key priority, through such measures as developing tourism.
“Stakeholders need to work together along with Fáilte Ireland to develop a strong strategic plan for Oranmore,” she said. “I intend to play a part in bringing the youth of this area, who have emigrated, whether for employment reasons or just by choice, back to work and play their part both socially and economically for their local communities.”
Cllr Kinane said she intends to “make contact with FF grassroots members over the next couple of weeks to ask them to consider me as one of their candidates”.
Addressing the issue that Fianna Fáil is still held in suspicion by many voters over its role in the State’s financial implosion in 2008, Cllr Kinane said; “I am a member of a FF party which is reforming and rebuilding while learning from it past. I entered politics for change not power. I want to bring balance back into the actions of future decisions that affect the people of Galway West.”