Fianna Fail Select Candidates in East Cork and Cobh for Local Elections

By Seamus Whelehan

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Dr Rosarii Griffin and Cllr Michael Ahern have been selected by Fianna Fail to contest the Local Elections this May on behalf of the Party.   Both were chosen at a Convention held at the Midleton Park Hotel on Thursday 23 January.

48 members had voting rights, with 37 turning up on the night to make their selection from three candidates- Rosarii Griffin Lecturer, John O’Brien Environmental Officer for the Ballymacoda/ Ladysbridge Community Council, and former Junior Minister Michael Ahern.   Waterford TD Mary Butler, and Regional Organiser Colm Leahy, presided over the proceedings.

Deputies Kevin O'Keeffe and Mary Butler with East Cork Municipal candates for 2019 Local Election, Cllr Michael Ahern and Dr Rosarri Griffin with John O'Brien.

Lisgoold based Rosarii Griffin received 18 votes, with Michael Ahern from Carrigtwohill 15, and John O’Brien from the Knockadoon Peninsula 4. There was one spoilt vote.

The selection of both Griffin and Ahern sparked criticism from supporters of O’Brien, claiming Midleton now have two candidates to represent them.   They said it would be ill advised for Fianna Fail to leave the areas of Youghal, Ballymacoda, Ladysbridge, Shannagarry and Castlemartyr without a local candidate.  According to the Party Executive locally, a decision to add O’Brien to the Fianna Fail ticket has yet to be made.  They said with the East Cork Municipality becoming a seven seater there is a possibility that Fianna Fail will run a three candidate strategy similar to that of Fine Gael.

In the Cobh Electoral area where the Municipal District has been reduced to six seats, the Party has taken a different approach.  Just one candidate was picked by the Party faithful with Fianna Fail HQ expected to select a running mate.

Last Friday 26 January Cllr Padraig O’Sullivan was selected to contest the Local Elections in Cobh this May.  The 35 year old was among 3 candidates vying for a place on the Fianna Fail ticket.   At the Convention held in the Commodore Hotel John Howard from Carrignafear received 2 ballots, with Party veteran Jimmy Halligan gaining 10 votes. O'Sullivan was elected on the first count with 25 votes.  While it’s likely that either Halligan or Howard may be selected as running mate for the May 24 Election, some in the Party would prefer a new generation candidate.

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