Friday 24 November 2017

Fianna Fail selects James Browne and Malcolm Byrne to contest General Election

Malcolm Byrne
Malcolm Byrne

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Fianna Fáil has selected councillors James Browne and Malcolm Byrne to contest the General Election in Wexford.

More than 350 members attended the selection convention in Enniscorthy tonight, amid huge rows over the split of the county.

Party chiefs have ordered that the county be split in two using an East-West divide, meaning the Gorey-based Malcolm Byrne was all but guaranteed a place on the ticket but four other candidates will have to fight it out in what has become a bitter battle.

Three other Fianna Fáil councillors - Michael Sheehan, Michael Whelan and Barbara-Anne Murphy –are based on this side of the county as James Brown.

He is the son of sitting TD John Browne who is retiring after 33 years in Leinster House.

Supporters of Michael Sheehan believe he would have won a place on the ticket if it weren’t for the party’s decision to split the county.

There is now a possibility that Mr Sheehan may decide to run as an independent.

The convention was Chaired by Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Timmy Dooley TD.

 Mr Browne from Enniscorthy is a practising Barrister having studied at Waterford IT; UCC and the King's Inns.  He was elected to Enniscorthy Town Council in 2009, the youngest member elected and was elected to Wexford County Council in 2014.  He is currently sits on the HSE Forum South and formerly played for Marshalstown GAA Club and Moyne Rangers soccer club.

 Mr Byrne, who is currently Head of Communications with the Higher Education Authority topped the poll at last year's local elections in the Gorey area and then served as Chair of Wexford County Council.  He is a law graduate of UCD and has previously served as Chief Executive of the national Community Games organisation.

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