FORMER Irish Farmers' Association leader John Bryan lost out last night in a heated race to fill the seat vacated by former minister Phil Hogan.
David Fitzgerald, a former Mayor of Kilkenny, will represent Fine Gael in the Carlow-Kilkenny by-election as they try to hold onto the seat left vacant by Mr Hogan's move to Europe. The party headquarters was keeping close watch as the voting unfolded at the convention in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny.
It is understood Mr Bryan had been favoured by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and senior FG members as the preferred choice to contest the by-election. Mr Kenny said Cllr Fitzgerald had the "full support" of the party, after he won by around 370 votes to 310.