Selection of candidates ramps up ahead of locals

Sinead Kelleher

Councillor Niall Kelleher from Rathmore has been chosen by the Fianna Fáil party to contest the local elections next year in the Killarney Electoral Area following the convention in the INEC last Sunday. 

A number of other names had been mooted for the area, but at the convention, Cllr Kelleher was the only nomination remaining and was selected by the party. 

Fianna Fáil has been busy finalising candidates in Kerry over the past few weeks for the local elections, and the party has chosen candidates in Tralee, Castleisland and Listowel Electoral Areas. 

Fianna Fáil have yet to finalise their candidates for The Dingle Electoral Area and the Kenmare Electoral Area. 

The latter includes much of Southwest Kerry, the region most political pundits are focusing on given that former Minister John O'Donoghue is said to be contesting the election. This convention takes place later this month. The Dingle area convention will take place next week, with Cllr Mike O'Shea and Breandán Fitzgerald expected to be chosen. 

Meanwhile Labour has also announced its candidates for the Killarney and Kenmare Electoral Areas. Former Councillor and Seanad Éireann representative Marie Moloney was selected to contest in the Killarney area, while constituency chair and party activist Luke Crowley-Holland was selected for the Kenmare Area. 

Luke is a History and Politics graduate from UCC, with a strong background in Labour Youth. Marie Moloney is a former senator and has formerly held a council seat. 

The selection of these two candidates follows the party putting forward three candidates in the Tralee area. Sitting Councillors Terry O'Brian and Graham Spring will be joined on the ticket by Ben Slimm.  

Meanwhile on the Fine Gael front, two candidates have been chosen for the Dingle Electoral Area. 

The convention which took place in Lios Póil on Monday put forward Cllr Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald and Tommy Griffin for next year's local elections. 

Cllr Cosai Fitzgerald is a long-sitting councillor while Tommy Griffin in the cousin of Minister Brendan Griffin. 

Other Fine Gael conventions have yet to be held, but it is expected that the Castleisland convention will take place before Christmas and the remaining conventions in the New year.