John Mulholland is set to return to the Galway City Council as a councillor for the Galway City West Ward, four years after he dramatically lost his seat in the 2009 Local Elections.
Mr Mulholland’s long political career was seemingly brought to a close when he lost his seat to Fine Gael colleague, Hildegarde Naughton, who was contesting her first election for the party.
Despite this, Mr Mulholland had been itching to get back into local politics. There was speculation that he would contest next year’s local elections, but opportunity presented itself, in what is a deeply ironic turn of events with Ms Naughton’s recent elevation to Seanad Éireann opening the way for Mr Mulholland’s return to city politics.
Taking up a Seanad position required Sen Naughton to give up her council seat leading to a vacancy in City Hall which had to be filled by co-option of a Fine Gael member from the same electoral ward.
Members of the Knocknacarra Branch of Fine Gael encouraged Mr Mulholland to put his name forward and last weekend he agreed to do this. The Knocknacarra branch secretary sent letters to City Hill and Fine Gael HQ and a decision is due to be taken in the coming weeks.
Mr Mulholland is almost certain to be co-opted onto City Hall and resume his political career when the council holds its first meeting in September.
He is unlikely to face a challenge from another party member as so far, his is the only name that has gone forward for adoption. He also has a long record of service to the party, having first been elected to the council in 1985 and serving a number of terms as mayor of Galway. He will be a sitting councillor by the time of the 2014 Local Elections and will be a candidate for the party in Galway City West.