Fianna Fáil settle ticket and get stuck into election campaign

After a protracted enough process, Fianna Fáil has now settled its election ticket for Mayo.

Sitting TD Dara Calleary, from Ballina, and Mayo County Councillor Lisa Chambers, from Ballyheane, Castlebar, were selected following the party's convention, attended by 500 delegates, in the Welcome Inn Hotel last Friday (June 12 ).

The build-up to the convention and the event itself was not without controversy.

Earlier this year, the party's Mayo delegates had voted to run three candidates in this constituency instead of the two-candidate strategy preferred by party headquarters.

The Mayo convention was subsequently delayed.

Party headquarters then decided to split the county into two - east and west - for the purposes of the convention with one candidate to be selected out of each area.

Cllr Chambers went unchallenged for her spot in the west when Cllr Brendan Mulroy, who had also been nominated, withdrew in advance of the vote.

In the east, Leonard Ryan, a solicitor from Knock, went up against Deputy Calleary.

The delegates voted 174 to 84 to put Deputy Calleary on the ticket.

In a speech to delegates after the vote, Mr Ryan said he is very much "a party man" and would put his "shoulder to the wheel" for the candidates and the party in the next general election. However, he did leave the convention as a mark of protest as to how the whole process was managed.

"The next General Election will be an important one for the party and the country" - Deputy Calleary

A number of east Mayo delegates followed Mr Ryan from the room.

Speaking after her selection, Cllr Chambers, said she believes Fianna Fáil in Mayo have the "best possible team" to represent the needs of the constituency on a national and local level.

She said she wanted to make "a positive difference to communities across Mayo and further afield" and Fianna Fáil is presenting a "credible alternative" to the Fine Gael/Labour government.

Deputy Calleary said he was "honoured" to be selected once again.

"The next General Election will be an important one for the party and the country," he said.


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