Bitter blow for McEllistrim dynasty
THE electoral plans of the McEllistrim political dynasty have been thrown into disarray after Councillor Anne McEllistrim failed to secure the party's nomination to contest the local elections in the Killarney constituency.
Cllr McEllistrim has represented the Tralee area on Kerry County Council since 2004, when she was co-opted onto the council to replace her brother, former TD Tom McEllistrim, after the scrapping of the dual mandate system.
Despite representing Tralee for nine years she opted to seek re-election in the redrawn Killarney constituency of Kerry County Council to make way for her brother, who lost his Dáil seat at the last general election, to return to active politics and contest the local election in Tralee.
In what has been widely described as a shock outcome, Cllr Anne McEllistrim was surprisingly beaten to the nomination by Rathmore based businessman and Fianna Fáil National Executive member Niall Kelleher who won the nomination by 17 votes to 13.
Ahead of the selection convention, Fianna Fáil headquarters in Dublin had decided to run three candidates in Kerry County Council's Killarney constituency. One would be based in Killarney, one in the Castleisland area and one from east Kerry. Cllr McEllistrim had sought the nomination in the Castleisland area which is close to the family's home and traditional electoral power base in Ballymacelligott.
Tom McEllistrim has confirmed that he still intends putting his name forward for the Tralee selection convention.
Cllr Anne McEllistrim said that, in spite of the convention's outcome, she remains hopeful that the Fianna Fáil National Executive may still place her name on the ticket given Fianna Fáil and the McEllistrim family's strong support in the Castleisland area and her position as a prominent outgoing councillor.
She has indicted that she does not plan to seek a nomination in the Tralee area.