FG to choose Connemara candidates

Fine Gael will hold its 2014 Local Election selection convention for Connemara tomorrow FR at 8.30pm in The Boat Inn, Oughterard.

Both the party’s sitting councillors - Eileen Mannion and Seosaimh Ó Laoi - will seek to run again, as will Niamh Byrne. The meeting will be chaired by Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton.

It is widely expected that party HQ will allow all three to be selected with the National Executive having the option of adding another candidate or candidates if it chooses.

Following the boundary revisions earlier this year, the Connemara electoral ward has been increased from seven seats to nine, resulting in a quota of 10 per cent.

With Fine Gael currently on 26 per cent, the party has more than two quotas and at this point councillors Mannion and Ó Laoi would be seen as having a good chance of retaining their seats.

FG will be operating a zonal strategy during next May’s election campaign. Cllr Mannion comes from a long established FG family in Clifden and will be covering much of the far west of the ward; Cllr Ó Laoi is from Leitir Mealláin and lives in An Spidéal and will canvass the southern, coastal, region of Connemara.

Ms Byrne is from Oughterard and lives in Killanin and would thus take in the Oughterard-Bushy Park region of Connemara, which was essential in seeing Dep Seán Kyne elected to the Dáil in 2011.

In this way, the party will seek to maximise its vote in each region of Connemara with no candidate straying into another’s zone and splitting the vote


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