From Croke Park to the Dáil: Former GAA star to battle for Enda Kenny's seat
Former Mayo footballer Alan Dillon believes he can help Fine Gael regain three Dáil seats after taking Enda Kenny's place on the party ticket.
The two-time All-Star was nominated at a party convention in the early hours of yesterday morning, along with senator Michelle Mulherin and Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring.
Party headquarters decided not to release the full outcome of the ballot, but the Irish Independent understands Ms Mulherin, who lost her seat at the last election, topped the poll with 256 votes.
Mr Ring was second with 254, while Mr Dillon received 193 votes.
Councillor Patsy O'Brien lost out.
Mr Kenny addressed the gathering of more than 850 party supporters in his native Castlebar, saying it was difficult to give up the seat held by his family for 64 years.
He has committed to helping Mr Dillon with his campaign to reach Leinster House whenever a general election is called.
"Last night I was just relieved to get through. I'm delighted that Mayo Fine Gael delegates put their faith in me," Mr Dillon said.
"Over the last number of years, Fine Gael has returned a really strong vote in Mayo. The intention is to retain the seat given by the people to the Kennys for the last 64 years."