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A nervous Christmas for FF as local election interviews take place

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Who will join Crowe on the FF ticket?

Who will join Crowe on the FF ticket?

There were many nervous Fianna Fáilers in Salthill last Wednesday and they will continue to be nervous over the Christmas period as their political future and fate is decided.

The interviews to decide who will run for Fianna Fáil in Galway city and Oranmore - and who will not be let within sight or sound of the campaign trail - took place in the Galway Bay Hotel last week.

FF HQ had announced some time ago that there would be no conventions held this year and that selection of candidates would take place by interview. Sitting councillors would be exempt from this as they would be automatically selected to run again. The interviews were solely to decide their running mates.

Imagine, then, the surprise when the sitting Fianna Fáil councillors in the city - Michael J Crowe, John Connolly, and Mary Leahy - were asked to come along as the interview board “wanted to meet them”. Some FFers attending admitted that they did not know who would be interviewing them.

However all eyes will be on the decision regarding Ollie Crowe, brother of Michael, and former mayor Martin Quinn. Both men want to run alongside Cllr Connolly in Galway City Central, but only one will get the nod.

It is known that, if put to a convention vote among local members, Mr Quinn would be chosen, but many political observers in the city feel Mr Crowe would actually be stronger in that he would take Bohermore and secure a larger personal vote - all important in a local election and even more so at a time when FF are facing a hostile electorate.

Whatever the interview board decides over Christmas will be fascinating.

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