The Fianna Fail party in Cork East are to hold a convention in the coming weeks to decide a replacement for both James O’Connor and Padraig O’Sullivan who were elected to the Dáil last weekend.
Nomination papers for the Cobh and Imokilly area Cumanns were mailed to members yesterday (Wednesday 12 February) with a closing date of Monday 17 February.
A well-placed source within the party said it was necessary to hold the conventions as early as possible, to ensure the party had full membership when voting in the Seanad elections and full participation in County Council.
While it’s open to any party member to put their name forward for convention in Midleton both Dr Rosarii Griffin and Anne-Marie Ahern are being tipped as possible candidates to replace O’Connor on the straight road.
In Cobh the local party members are expected to hold their selection convention the first week of March.
Dr Griffin a self-professed “junky” for current affairs contested the local elections for Fianna Fail last May and was beaten by a short margin for the last seat by the Green Party’s Liam Quaide.
Ms Griffin is a graduate of University College Cork and Oxford University and lecturer in disabilities at UCC.
She is also a regular contributor to community radio and the local newspapers.
Ann-Marie Ahern an auctioneer based in Midleton comes from a political dynasty in Cork east.
Her father Maurice Ahern represented the region for over 30 years on Cork County Council and her uncle Michael Ahern served Cork East in the Dáil between 1982 and his retirement in 2011.
During his term in office he served as Minister of State for Trade and Commerce on two occasions.
In Cobh the local cumann are said to favour John Paul Reilly for the Cobh Municipality Chairman’s seat in County Hall.
Reilly ran for the party last May but was unsuccessful on his first time contesting a local election.
Born and reared in Cobh John Paul is heavily involved in the community sitting on the board of Cobh Tourism and is a strong supporter of Cobh Youth Services and Cobh Tidy Towns.
He runs a local guest house, works in construction and is a retained member of the Cobh County Fire and Rescue Service.
The Fianna Fail party source said if the Cobh man can prove his worth in County Hall, there could be two party seats in East Cork in four years’ time.