Fianna Fáil contest heats up ahead of local elections
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.