Journalist selected as FF election candidate
Fianna Fáil has cranked up its preparations ahead of the next general election by targeting two seats in the Longford-Westmeath constituency.
It comes after Joe Flaherty was last night ratified to contest the next election for the party after a landslide victory at its Longford selection convention.
The journalist and local newspaper boss secured 220 votes, or close to two thirds of the 356 delegates who voted, seeing off fellow candidates Connie Gerety Quinn (87) and Cllr Seamus Butler (49) in the process.
The news comes almost two years since the acrimonious fallout which befell the party's last attempt to ratify a Longford-based candidate in the lead-up to last year's election. That culminated in Ms Gerety Quinn being installed as its preferred candidate on the back of a gender quota directive from HQ.
This time both defeated candidates and more than 300 delegates rowed in behind Mr Flaherty, who is managing director of Iconic News.
The father-of-three vowed to win back a seat last held by former TD Peter Kelly in 2011.
"I am very conscious of the weight of responsibility that comes with this role," he said, after his victory. "I want to leave you in no doubt I fully appreciate what you have invested in me and I want to ensure you I will leave no stone unturned and we will get back that seat."