Fine Gael has decided to run five candidates in the newly expanded Nenagh Municipal District Council area in next May’s local elections.
The party met in the Horse and Jockey Hotel this Tuesday evening and siting county councillor Phyll Bugler and Nenagh town councillor were officially added to the ticket.
Fine Gael had earlier selected current Mayor of North Tipperary Ger Darcy, along with Nenagh town councillor Tom Moylan and former councillor Tom Berkery to run.
The Tipperary Star understands that a recommendation was made by the party’s Tipperary strategic committee last week to seek to have Cllr Bugler and Cllr Delaney added and this was agreed by head office in Dublin.
At the selection convention last Septmeber, Cllr Bugler announced she was not seeking to run. It is understood that she cited her business commitments as the reason for withdrawing from the convention. However, an FG source has since told the Tipperary Star that the party wanted to avoid what they termed a “blood bath” and head office ordered just minutes before the convention began that only three candidates be selected and a further one or two could be added later.
The party was never going to allow up to 2,500 votes in Cllr Bugler’s backyard be lost and it was never in doubt that if she changed her mind she would get the nod.
However, FG could face a battle with disgruntled supporters in the Lower Ormond area by not adding Louis McCormack to the ticket ahead of Cllr Delaney. Mr McCormack had a respectable tally in 2004 and it now means that, at present, it looks like Cllr Darcy from Ardcroney will face off against Cllr Michael O’Meara, Lowry Team, for the votes in Lower Ormond.
Labour and Fianna Fail have yet to hold selection conventions but there are rumours former FF councillor Mairead Tierney (Ryan) who runs Paddys Pub in Terryglass may be asked to run. Ms Ryan, who is a sister-in-law of beleagured Irish Water boss John Tierney, is originally from the Newport area and quit politics in 1991 after just one term as a councillor.
The other problem facing Fine Gael is the fact that all its candidates are from within a stone’s throw of each other and will need to organise themselves if they are not to split the vote.
Cllr Darcy, Cllr Moylan and Cllr Delaney are all essentially Nenagh-based, though Cllr Darcy will be hoping to get the traditional FG vote from around Borrisokane, while Cllr Bugler and Tom Berkery will be pulling out of the Newport / Templederry /Rearcross areas.
Fianna Fail will hold its selection convention in Dolla this Thursday, with sitting councillors John Carroll and Mattie Ryan “Coole” expected to be nominated. Also in the running for nominations are Cllr Tom Mulqueen from Nenagh Town Council and newcomer Eamon Spillane from Ardcroney.
It is understood Labour will hold off until the start of February for its convention, but it seems sitting councillor Virginia O’Dowd will be nominated. Cllr Lalor McGee, Nenagh Town Council, is understood to be considering his options while the Tipperary Star further understands the party has been in discussions with possible candidates for Lower Ormond and the Newport / Ballina areas.