Four candidates to stand at Fine Gael convention

The Fine Gael party will hold its general election selection convention this Friday, October 16 in The Mayflower, Drumshanbo. Four strong candidates are vying for the expected two positions on the ballot paper.

The Fine Gael party will hold its general election selection convention this Friday, October 16 in The Mayflower, Drumshanbo. Four strong candidates are vying for the expected two positions on the ballot paper.

The new constituency, the largest geographically in the country, sees two Sligo and two Leitrim candidates putting their names forward.

Deputy Tony McLoughlin, Deputy John Perry, Senator Michael Comiskey and former deputy, senator and councillor, Gerry Reynolds are all seeking the nomination.

Registration for delegates will begin at 7pm with the convention due to start at 8.30pm.

Over 950 delegates are entitled to vote and it is expected up to 650 will attend.

The Leitrim candidates have both expressed their confidence in getting selected.

Senator Comiskey admitted it was hard to know what will happen but there will definitely be a Leitrim candidate and he is “quietly optimistic” it will be him.

He said he has ran a huge campaign over the summer and spoken to almost every delegate. He admits the largest numbers are in South Leitrim and West Cavan but he is “reasonably positive” he will come through. He also said there could be “some surprises on the night” but wouldn’t elaborate.

Gerry Reynolds said he has been canvassing South Leitrim and West Cavan and the reaction he has got has been “warm and very positive” and he would be encouraged by it.

He added, the reaction from the area is that the delegates would like to see someone with his record, who has been successful in business, getting back in and representing them in government.

There has been a dispute in Sligo with supporters of John Perry unhappy at being excluded from voting due to not being registered to vote for two successive years, with even the threat of legal action hanging over the party.