Seven candidates have declared their intention to seek nomination on the Fianna Fáil ticket for the upcoming General Election.
Sitting Wicklow County Councillors Pat Casey, Tommy Annesley and Pat Kennedy have all declared their interest in contesting the election for their party, as has Cllr Jennifer Cuffe who holds a seat on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
The three remaining party members who will go before an election convention in the coming weeks are all Arklow-based; auctioneer Raymond Gaffney, teacher Moya McGrath Doyle and solicitor Pauric Hyland.
There was some surprise when Cllr Kennedy accepted his nomination as he had previously indicated that he would not be seeking inclusion on the ticket due to the fact that his brother-in-law Cllr Casey had already made public his interest. He confirmed this week that he changed his mind due to 'many requests from the people of Wicklow' for him to seek nomination. Cllr Kennedy also managed two successful Local Election campaigns for Cllr Casey in the past.
Similarly, Ms McGrath Doyle played a central role in the previous campaigns of Cllr Annesley but is now seeking a seat of her own.
While the majority of the names on the list were to be expected due to their long-standing associations with the Fianna Fáil party in Wicklow, there was some disquiet at the inclusion of Mr Hyland and Cllr Cuffe on the list who sources describe as being 'parachuted in'.
'There is total unease between some members of Wicklow Fianna Fáil about some of the nominees who have been declared. There is such a high calibre of nominees already working within the party that it came as a surprise to see some of the names included,' a source said.
Mr Hyland said that it was not his intention 'to step on anybody's toes' and that he wants to try and 'work for the greater good in Arklow.'
Cllr Cuffe also disagreed with the view expressed and said that as she is a resident of Greystones and already represents a certain amount of Wicklow residnets in her constituency it was 'the right' move for her to see inclusion on the Wicklow ticket.