Wednesday 13 December 2017

McDaid in bid to get name back on Donegal FF ticket

James Pat McDaid
James Pat McDaid

Greg Harkin

James McDaid's name could yet return to a ballot paper in a Dáil election.

But it's not the former Government minister who wants to return to election battles, it's a young contender with the same name who aspires to carry on his legacy.

James Pat McDaid (26) is a relation of the retired politician and family GP.

"My father and Jim are cousins and we would have campaigned for Jim over the years," said the county councillor who is well known throughout Donegal.

James Pat was captain of the Glenswilly team which took an Ulster club title in 2013 in a side featuring the Donegal county captain Michael Murphy.

But knee injuries forced him to quit football soon afterwards.

"Nobody has done as much for Donegal as Jim has," said James Pat, who was elected to Donegal County Council last year.

"Letterkenny had a sitting TD for 21 years and this area needs a TD again. Jim has given me a great deal of encouragement over the past couple of years and he is supporting me again.

"I've thrown my hat into the ring and we'll see what happens at the party convention but I believe Fianna Fáil needs new and young candidates right now."

A part-time farmer, the young McDaid studied sustainable development at college.

But he faces a tough battle to get his name on the ballot paper if Fianna Fáil opts to run just two candidates in a constituency which has just five seats next time around.

Pat The Cope Gallagher and sitting TD Charlie McConalogue look to have the numbers among the 1,000 party members in Donegal to secure the nomination. But James Pat McDaid believes the county's biggest town Letterkenny and surrounding towns and villages needs a voice.

"Jim worked for the whole county. I want to do the same," he said.

Irish Independent

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