The recent convention of South Westmeath members of Fianna Fail saw four candidates put forward for the 2014 local election.
Three of the candidates are already sitting councillors: Westmeath County Councillors Frankie Keena and Tom Allen along with Athlone Town Councillor Aengus O’Rourke.
Vinny McCormack from Ballymore was also added to the ticket. Mr McCormack was the only possible candidate from the Ballymore area and was automatically added.
Councilllors Keena and O’Rourke along with PJ Coghill who was a councillor in the 90s contested the Athlone area, with the sitting councillors being voted on to the ticket.
In the Moate area Cllr Allen was up against Michael O’Brien and Mount Temple woman Fiona Lynam - who was a late addition. In the end Cllr Allen was selected to contest next year’s local election.
Speaking after the convention Mr O’Brien said, “I am totally devastated and disappointed in the way in which Fianna Fail HQ conducted their business at the convention. On the night they split the Athlone Electoral Area up into districts and basically only 25 delegates out of 170 had a say in my political future.”
However Cll O’Rourke was more than happy with his nomination, and is looking forward to the challenge ahead. “As a town councillor looking for a seat at county council level, I am entering this election as a challenger, an underdog. I have never contested a county council election before. So, I am prepared for a tough battle and I realise that making the breakthrough will not be easy,” he said.