The question of Fianna Fáil running a third general election candidate in the Sligo/Leitrim constituency is still under "active review" according to party leader Deputy Micheál Martin.
Like all parties, Fianna Fáil is now on an election footing and Deputy Martin made a whistlestop tour of the county last Friday and Saturday, accompanied by candidates Senator Marc MacSharry and Councillor Eamon Scanlon.
"We've no seat at the moment in Sligo and obviously this is now Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan and South Donegal - it's a very unwieldy constituency in some respects," Deputy Martin told The Sligo Champion during a visit to the Men's Sheds on Saturday morning.
"We've two very strong candidates in Eamon Scanlon and Marc MacSharry. The constituency committee have it under review in terms of Leitrim and so on and that's under active review but we've two very strong candidates so far. We're targeting two seats," he said.
"That sounds ambitious, given that we don't have one (sitting TD) but we've done some research here - Eamon is quite strong and Marc is very strong. He's worked hard as a senator," he said.
"Yesterday going through all the various towns and ending up in Tubbercurry where we paid due tribute to former distinguished councillors but also celebrated the fact that we won five out of eight in the Ballymote-Tubbercurry electoral area in the local elections was a huge fillip to the party, a great tribute to the councillors that got elected but also illustrative of potential for the party," he said.
Deputy Martin said the mood among Fianna Fáil supporters was good in Sligo: "yes, I took the temperature. A huge crowd turned out in Tubbercurry. We've got all ages in Sligo. My fundamental objective when I took over as leader was to try to rebuild and renew the party, given the defeat we had. Do you know, I've had very positive vibes coming out of Sligo in terms of the generational strengths in terms of age cohorts, the Keith Henrys and Fiona Conlon-Dunnes in Ogra Fianna Fáil having an influential role.
"We have very good councillors elected both in Sligo town and in the Ballymote/Tubbercurry area. So there's a good foundation there.
"Sligo's always been important to Fianna Fáil nationally, Ray MacSharry being the towering figure in terms of the contribution that he made. I can see that happening again into the future," he added.