A battle is on between Liam O’Carroll and Michael Eames for the right to run in Oranmore in June’s Local Elections and it seems FG HQ favours Mr O’Carroll while local members are going for Mr Eames.
Fine Gael held its selection convention for the Oranmore electoral ward this week with positions available for two candidates.
The sitting FG councillors for the area are Jarlath McDonagh and Michael Carey. However, following the boundary changes, and Headford’s shift into the Tuam ward, Cllr Carey will be running in Tuam in June.
As such, there was competition for places at the convention last night. Cllr McDonagh, Liam O’Carroll, and Michael Eames, the husband of Sen Fidelma Healy Eames, were seeking nomination to stand.
It is understood that FG carried out private polling in the Oranmore area on the contenders and found that Mr O’Carroll was faring better than Mr Eames, and party HQ became interested in Mr O’Carroll’s potential as a candidate.
However Mr Eames is a member of the large Maree party branch. In a vote between his branch and the smaller Oranmore branch, of which Mr O’Carroll is a member, Mr Eames would easily win the right to be on the FG ticket.
At the convention, the FG national executive issued a directive that the delegates select only one candidate and that a second would be added later. Cllr McDonagh won the vote and now it remains to be seen if FG HQ will add Mr O’Carroll in preference to Mr Eames, as many suspect it will. In an ironic twist to the affair, Mr Eames secured the highest first preferences of the three candidates, with Mr McDonagh being elected on the basis of Mr O’Carroll’s transfers.