Wednesday 14 November 2018

Nicky Kelly set to join Labour 'within weeks'

Gene McKenna Political Correspondent

INDEPENDENT councillor Nicky Kelly is set to join the Labour Party.

It is understood Mr Kelly, who served a jail term when convicted of the Sallins train robbery of 1976 but whose conviction was subsequently overturned, has been involved in serious talks with the party over the past few days.

And Labour is hoping the Arklow-based councillor will formally join the party within a matter of weeks.

Fine Gael has also made strenuous efforts to attract Mr Kelly to its party, however it seems to have lost out to Labour. If he joins, Mr Kelly is expected to contest the Wicklow constituency in the next general election. Labour already has a sitting TD there. But Liz McManus won the seat as a member of Democratic Left.

The long-serving Labour TD Liam Kavanagh lost his seat in the competitive five-seater in the last election. Running as an Independent in the 1997 election, Mr Kelly secured 4,995 votes - less than 300 behind Ms McManus.

The other sitting TDs at present, along with Ms McManus, are Fianna Fail's Dick Roche and Joe Jacob, Fine Gael's Billy Timmins and Independent Mildred Fox.

Twenty-five years ago Nicky Kelly was jailed for his alleged part in the Sallins mail train robbery on March 31, 1976. Nine years later he was freed, his conviction for the train robbery overturned and he was given a presidential pardon in 1992.

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