Thursday 23 May 2019

FG select O'Dowd and McGahon

Convention saw John McGahon chosen for Dundalk area

Cllr. John McGahon and Fergus O’Dowd TD at the Fine Gael general election convention in The Crowne Plaza
Cllr. John McGahon and Fergus O’Dowd TD at the Fine Gael general election convention in The Crowne Plaza

Olivia Ryan

The great and the good from across Louth Fine Gael gathered for the party's selection convention last week.

The convention was held, following the announcement by Dundalk TD Peter Fitzpatrick that he would not be standing as a Fine Gael candidate in the next General Election.

At the event, a number of candidates sought the support from the party.

In the Dundalk area, Cllr. Maria Doyle, and Cllr. John McGahon battled it out for a chance to take the seat in north Louth.

Ultimately, it was Cllr. McGahon who was selected by the party to stand in the next general Election.

The youngest Fine Gael candidate in the country to stand in the next Dail elections, he told the Argus that he was 'honoured' to have been given the support of the party.

'I spent seven weeks on the road canvassing Fine Gael members in every part of the county and I loved every second of it!'

Elected to Louth County Council in 2014 at the age of 23, he said that he hopes to maintain Fine Gael's seat in Dundalk.

'Our county and our country face huge challenges in the coming years and I want to make sure we have the strongest possible Government to lead us through this period.'

He added hat there are a number of major challenges ahead for the county.

'Louth needs to be supported so we can face the challenges of Brexit; so we can create the jobs locally that will stop more of my generation from emigrating; so that we can build the new roads, schools and parks that will make Louth a truly great place to live, work and to raise a family.'

The biggest challenge for him, he adds, is the uncertainty around the timing of the next election.

'There is the uncertainty of not knowing when an election will be called. The confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fail will expire at the end of the year, so we could be having a Christmas or Spring election or it could be extended until Spring 2020, so that is certainly a challenge.'

'Equally, the other challenge is holding onto the seat. Fine Gael have an excellent story to tell and the job now is getting out there, knocking doors and telling that story to the people of Louth.'

As the youngest candidate in the country, he adds: 'There's a real hunger at the minute for younger voices in politics. Particularly after the 8th Referendum, younger people are more energised and enthusiastic about politics then ever before. Whether it will count as an advantage or not, I don't know, but my age is certainly something that will make me stand out from other candidates!'

The Argus