who is james heffernan?
James Heffernan (33) was widely tipped to take a Dail seat in Co Limerick at last year's general election but came fourth in the three-seater, with Fine Gael's Dan Neville, Patrick O'Donovan and Fianna Fail's Niall Collins taking the three seats.
He also ran in the 2007 General Election, but was unsuccessful, and took a seat on Limerick County Council in the 2009 local elections.
A primary school teacher, he ran for the Seanad after failing in his 2011 Dail attempt, and was elected on the Agricultural Panel on the first count.
Mr Heffernan was the party's spokesperson on transport, tourism and sport.