Fine Gael will run six candidates - two across each of Galway city’s three electoral wards - in May’s Local Elections to the Galway City Council.
However the party has only declared four candidates thus far and is still in the process of selecting the remaining two; unlike its great rivals Fianna Fáil which announced its six candidates for Galway city last November.
John Walsh, brother of Galway West TD Brian Walsh, will run in Galway City East. He will hoping to capitalise on Brian’s base and electoral record to secure a seat in a ward where the party has traditionally only held one seat since at least the 1990s.
The party is currently seeking a second candidate for Galway City East and, while no names have emerged as yet, it is understood FG is interested in fielding a female candidate.
Newly co-opted councillor Michelle Murphy will be the party standard bearer in Galway City West. It was widely expected that former councillor and mayor John Mulholland would contest the local elections but he announced to a FG branch meeting that he would not be standing.
As a result the party must find a alternative second candidate. Galway City West always returns a FG candidate and was always a PD stronghold, a factor FG will be keen to capitalise on, especially with the ward having increased from four seats to six, and polls showing two seats a possible achievement.
For the first time in at least a decade, Fine Gael will run two candidates in Galway City Central, with the outspoken councillor Pádraig Conneely finally having a running mate in former Galway City East councillor Frank Fahy.
Cllr Fahy switched wards as the boundary changes introduced last year saw GCC increased from a four seat ward to a six seater and Fine Gael would be among the parties in with a chance of taking an extra seat here.
The second reason is that the same boundary review saw Menlo, Ballindooly, Tirellan Heights, Ballinfoile and Castlelawn Heights move into GCC. These areas, and Menlo in particular, is where Cllr Fahy would expect to draw his core vote from, so his move makes sense