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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Sports stars set to square off for rival parties in poll battle

John Downing and Ralph Riegel

Published 01/02/2014 | 02:30

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Joe Sheridan
Kenny Egan

Sheridan – best remembered for a 'rugby-style' goal in the 2010 Leinster Final which denied Louth a historic win – is to field for Fianna Fail in the May local elections.

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And Taoiseach Enda Kenny has welcomed the decision of Olympic boxer Egan to enter into talks to stand as a Fine Gael candidate.

Last night Sheridan confirmed he has been nominated as one of three Fianna Fail candidates in the six-seat Ashbourne area.

He is looking forward to the challenge and following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Eamon Sheridan, a longtime Fianna Fail activist; and his father Damien, who served as a Fianna Fail councillor in the 1970s.

"Unfortunately, the goal is what I'm best known for outside the area. But I have left that behind me and I'm very involved in playing and coaching sport. I want to extend that into other community activities," he said.

Mr Kenny said it was "great news" for the party that potential candidates of the calibre of the Dublin-based boxer are now interested in representing it.

"I think it is very positive. I think wherever we look around the country if we have one candidate who cannot stand for some reason next May we have six or eight people who want to step forward."

Mr Kenny said he felt potential candidates appreciated what the party has done to help rebuild Ireland's economy.

He said Ireland had successfully exited the bailout and was now securing credit at a rate lower than OECD countries which hadn't been part of bailout programmes.

He also said Fine Gael was getting credit for the Irish reform agenda that the party has tried to drive while in coalition.

The Taoiseach said he wanted to see young candidates coming forward and also stressed that he wanted to see more women in Irish public life.

Mr Egan has been linked with standing for FG in the Dublin City Council's Blanchardstown area.

A native of Clondalkin, Mr Egan won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Irish Independent

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