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Two things strike Insider immediately about the recently selected Fianna Fáil Galway West ticket for Election 2016 of TD Éamon Ó Cuív, county councillor Mary Hoade, and former city councillor John Connolly - and what is says about the party is not positive.
While last week's historic referendum on same sex marriage was undoubtedly the political event of the year in Ireland, earlier this month the eyes in Leinster House were very firmly fixed on events across the Irish Sea and the British general election.
Fianna Fáil holds its Galway West Election 2016 selection convention in The Clayton Hotel this evening. Six candidates have been nominated for inclusion on what is likely to be a three person ticket for the constituency, but only five of them will be seeking delegate support.
He admits Election 2016 "will be fiercely fought", but Labour's Galway West TD Derek Nolan is determined to make "a passionate, positive case" on the doorsteps over the coming months in an all-out effort to defend his Dáil seat.
Éamon Ó Cuív may have the safest seat in the State, and be FF’s ‘one sure thing’ in Galway West for Election 2016, but the party knows it cannot rely on him forever, and a range of future hopefuls are jostling for position to become his eventual successor.
Insider is going against the grain here, but let him go out on a charred and severed limb, daring to posit that Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan is not the electorally dead in the water, threatened with extinction political animal, that he appears to be.
Insider always raises an eyebrow when bookies issue their odds on election betting - who’s a favourite, who’s not, etc - indeed, one of Ireland’s well known bookies gets RED C to carry out polling for it regularly, hence the odds that bookmaker offers reflects the results of the polls.
If Dáil Éireann goes to full term, and the General Election comes, not this year, but in April/May 2016, three sitting Oireachtas members in Connacht would be able to travel around their respective constituencies for free using their bus passes.
With the festive period now over, politicians have turned their thoughts to the year ahead and in one respect the mood across the parties is the same – we are now in an election year.
ohn Connolly, the long time Fianna Fáil member and former city councillor, is understood to have been approached by Fianna Fail to consider standing in the 2016 General Election.