Fianna Fáil con­test heats up ahead of lo­cal elec­tions

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - BY SINEAD KELLE­HER

THE lo­cal elec­tions are shap­ing up as a bit­ter con­test for Fianna Fáil as the nom­i­na­tion process for the party closes across the county amid a slew of can­di­dates.

Mon­day was the fi­nal dead­line for nom­i­na­tions for Kil­lar­ney, with five can­di­dates putting their name for­ward, in­clud­ing sit­ting coun­cil­lors Niall Kelle­her and John Joe Cul­loty; John O’Shea; Tom Do­herty and Ken O’Sul­li­van.

Last Thursday was the dead­line for party nom­i­na­tions for Castleis­land which has seen four party can­di­dates put their name for­ward, in­clud­ing Tom McEl­listrim and Fion­nán Fitzger­ald, who are both from Bal­ly­ma­cel­lig­ott and will be vy­ing for Fianna Fáil votes in the same area.

Also vy­ing for his name on the bal­lot pa­per in Castleis­land is Cllr John Joe Cul­loty, who is also nom­i­nated for Kil­lar­ney; and Cllr Norma Fo­ley, the cur­rent Mayor of Kerry. The Tralee woman, who cur­rently sits on the Tralee Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict, has also put her name for­ward for the Tralee Dis­trict as have both Ann and Tom McEl­listrim.

Ann had pre­vi­ously stepped aside to leave her brother Tom McEl­listrim run in the Tralee Elec­toral Area at the last lo­cal elec­tions and in­stead put her name for­ward for Kil­lar­ney where she failed to get nom­i­nated at con­ven­tion and was later added to the ticket but failed to win a seat.

Mean­while in the Lis­towel area, sit­ting Cllrs Jimmy Moloney and John Lu­cid are nom­i­nated along­side Luke Kin­de­lan from Bally­bunion and Michael Leen from Bal­ly­heigue.

In the Ken­mare Elec­toral Area sit­ting Cllrs Norma Mo­ri­arty, Michael Cahill and John Fran­cis Flynn are all nom­i­nated along with the shock nom­i­na­tion of former Min­is­ter and Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue. He, how­ever, has not stated any pub­lic in­ten­tion to run.

The dead­line for nom­i­na­tions in Dingle have not yet closed but an­other con­test is ex­pected here with new names to be added. It is the only one of the six Kerry elec­toral ar­eas where Fianna Fáil have not closed nom­i­na­tions.

Cllr Mike O’Shea will put his name for­ward for this area though he has lost much of his vot­ing base which has moved to the Ken­mare area, which en­com­passes Kil­lor­glin and Mill­town.

Bre­andán Fitzger­ald is also ex­pected to put his name for­ward for the this elec­toral dis­trict. He has pre­vi­ously ran in the lo­cal elec­tion but failed to get a seat.

An­other name be­ing bandied for the Dingle Elec­toral Area was new can­di­date Daniel Mc­Carthy but he has con­firmed this week that he will not be run­ning for elec­tion. A date for the Fianna Fáil con­ven­tion has not been con­firmed to see who of the nom­i­nated can­di­dates will make it through con­ven­tion. Party head­quar­ters could also add can­di­dates.

The lo­cal elec­tions are set for May 24, 2019.

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