Social Protection Minister and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Joan Burton, was on hand in the Anner Hotel, Thurles last weekend to oversee the selection Convention for all of Tipperary at the weekend.
The first such Convention of it’s kind, there was a real air of expectation at the venue and a determination to get out there and get the campaign underway.
While acknowledging that the elections wouldn’t be easy, Minister Burton urged candidates and canvassers to get out and ‘talk to people,’ stating that the partys has “brought this country back from the brink and people have forgotten just how bad things were before Labour went into government.”
Local Mi nister Alan Kelly, MEP Phil Prendergast and Senator Denis Landy were also in attendance on the night at the packed venue.
For the Nenagh electoral area, Fiona Bonfield from Newport, Nenagh-based councillors, Cllr Virginia O’Dowd and Cllr Lalor McGee while operation transformation’s Greg Starr completes the billing.
For the Thurles/Templemore electoral area, Cllr John Kennedy and Roscrea-based Shane Lee will be flying the Labour banner.
For the Tipperary/Cashel electoral area, retired council worker, Mick Byrnes was selected. Mick, who narrowly missed out on a seat at the last local election, said he was confident he could go one better this time.
For the Clonmel area, Labour selected previous poll-topper and sitting councillor, Sean Lonergan.
For the Fethard/Carrick-on-Suir area, Cllr Michael Cleere, co-opted to the council last year will be seeking to retain the seat while running alongside him will be local Labour activist Liaam Hayes. The party will have a big task ahead to secure seats with the number of places available having been cut drastically following the reconciliation of the two Tipperary’s . This will make life very difficult for all candidates in May’s poll.