Sunday 18 August 2019

Let me run in the general election, Fine Gael councillor Sharon Tolan asks Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Councillor Sharon Tolan
Councillor Sharon Tolan
Fergus O’Dowd TD
Written to numerous times: Senator Ray Butler. Photo: Tom Burke
Hugh O'Connell

Hugh O'Connell

A Fine Gael councillor has lobbied the Taoiseach and senior party figures to add her to the general election ticket in Louth.

As Fine Gael reshuffles a number of Dáil election tickets, Meath county councillor Sharon Tolan wrote to its national executive this week asking to be added in the Louth constituency. The party is already running Drogheda-based TD Fergus O’Dowd and Dundalk-based councillor John McGahon in that constituency.

In her letter, Ms Tolan pointed out that while she was elected to Meath County Council in May, the section of Meath she lives in - Laytown-Bettystown - is actually in the Louth Dáil constituency.

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Fergus O’Dowd TD

“All 1,774 first-preference votes that I received in the local election came from boxes within the Louth constituency,” Ms Tolan said. She added that of all the candidates based in the Louth Dáil constituency who ran in the local elections she had the highest number of first preferences.

The executive - whose membership includes Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran - is understood to have noted Ms Tolan’s letter, but not considered her request at a meeting last Tuesday night.

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Written to numerous times: Senator Ray Butler. Photo: Tom Burke

At the same meeting it agreed to remove senator Ray Butler as a candidate in Meath West and add senator Frank Feighan to the ticket in Sligo-Leitrim where he replaces Gerry Reynolds. Cork North-Central candidate Julie O’Leary has also been dropped as a candidate after she failed to win a local authority seat in May.

READ MORE: Fine Gael drops senator Ray Butler from Dáil ticket and chooses Frank Feighan to run over John Perry in general election

A Fine Gael spokesman had no comment on Ms Tolan’s letter.

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