FINE GAEL MAY ADD PA TO ELECTION TICKET
The Fine Gael candidates to contest the next general election in Cork East were chosen at the party’s selection convention in Mitchelstown last Sunday.
Deputy David Stanton and Cllr Tom Barry from Killavullen have been selected by the party faithful but sources within Fine Gael believe that a third name is likely be added to the ballot and that this candidate will be Mayor of Fermoy, Cllr Pa O’Driscoll.
While the sitting T.D., David Stanton, was once again chosen to contest the general election with 118 votes, it was first time candidate, Cllr Tom Barry from Killavullen who topped the poll with 167 delegate votes at the convention.
As delegates from across the constituency gathered at The Firgrove Hotel to choose the two candidates, four Fine Gael councillors, Tom Barry (Killavullen), Noel O’Connor (Mallow), Michael Hegarty (Midelton) and Pa O’Driscoll (Fermoy) as well as Deputy Stanton put their names forward for selection.
Tributes were paid to Senator Paul Bradford who decided last week to withdraw from the selection process.
Addressing the delegates, Sen Bradford reminded the gathering that they faced a challenge.
“There has never been a better time for Fine Gael to ensure that they have two seats in Cork East. We are faced with a challenge, we need to secure 65 to 70 seats in the next Dail and we can do it. Here in Cork East Fine Gael has the organisation, the spirit and the right candidates to ensure that we play our part in putting the country back on the right track to recovery.”
Senator Bradford also said that he was not retiring from politics, “I will continue to work for Fine Gael and I look forward to the day when Enda Kenny will lead the country”, he concluded.
There then followed passionate speeches from all the candidates before the voting took place. Deputy Tom Hayes from Tipperary South chaired the meeting and Deputy Lucinda Creighton, along with Fine Gael councillors from across the region, were also in attendance for the selection convention at The Firgrove Hotel.
Deputy Hayes told the meeting that, “as part of standard procedure the Fine Gael National Executive retain the right to add or delete a candidate from the ballot paper.”
Cllr Pa O’Driscoll, the Mayor of Fermoy, received 87 votes, followed by Cllr Noel O’Connor on 51 votes and Cllr Michael Hegarty with 34 votes.
Speaking to The Avondhu after the results were announced Deputy Stanton said he was honoured once again to be chosen by the delegates of Cork East to run for the Dail.
“I am very happy with the result and I am looking forward to representing Cork East once more. I want to congratulate my running mate, Cllr Tom Barry, we now have a very strong team in place and I am confident that we will win two seats.”
Deputy Stanton also praised the other candidates: “We had a great choice here this evening with the calibre of the candidates who put their names forward. This is very positive for the party and we are lucky to have members of such high qualities.”
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Cllr Tom Barry is looking forward to getting on the campaign trail: “We need to get out there and spread our message that there is an alternative to the state of the country that Fianna Fail and the Greens have left us. I am delighted and it is a great honour to be selected. We have a great team in place and I am confident that we will take two seats,” Cllr Barry said.
Cllr Pa O’Driscoll was delighted with the vote he received.
“I got beaten but I am not downhearted and I want to thank all my supporters and I am looking forward to working towards a Fine Gael victory in 2011,” he said.
Defeated councillor, Noel O’Connor is very confident that Fine Gael will take two seats at the next election.
“I am delighted that I got the chance to express my views at the convention and I want to thank all my supporters who worked on my behalf. I want to wish Deputy Stanton and Cllr Barry all the best for the campaign and I am looking forward to Cork East sending two Fine Gael representatives to Dublin next year,” Cllr O’Connor said.
Thursday 16th December 5:33pm