Senator Frank Feighan
Senator Frank Feighan said he puts all of his support and that of the North Roscommon vote behind Gerry Reynolds as he starts his own bid to retain his Seanad seat.
Boyle Senator Frank Feighan said he withdrew his name from the Fine Gael convention last Thursday night because “I knew I didn’t have the votes to go up against a candidate from South Leitrim.”
Feighan who was very popular as a TD in the Ballinamore and Leitrim area said he will ask the National Executive to add him as a third candidate. But he admitted to the Leitrim Observer “the chances are very unlikely, we have a very good two person strategy.”
Feighan who is good friends with Mr Reynolds said he instructed his North Roscommon members to vote for him and he is very confident the Fine Gael vote in North Roscommon will flow to the Carrick-on-Shannon businessman in the General Election.
North Roscommon was only added to the Sligo/ Leitrim constituency which includes a part of South Donegal over 12 months ago.
Feighan said this move, put him on the back foot as it was pointless trying to recruit new members for a convention vote as you have to be a party member for two years.
Feighan said Reynolds is in a “strong position” and both candidates are expected to be elected. Mr Feighan said he doesn't see a General Election being called until the Government announce their third budget.
Feighan said he will now set his sights on getting re-elected or selected into Seanad Eireann.
The Boyle man spends a lot of time in London on the British Irish Assembly where Brexit is the main topic.
He said the position from the UK is “deeply concerning” for Irish interests but Ireland will be holding strong on the border issue.
Leitrim and the border counties are particularly vulnerable in the fallout of Brexit and Feighan said he is keeping this area in his focus.
Feighan paid tribute to Deputy Tony McLoughlin, who is stepping down after 40 years of public service.
30 people protested outside the convention last week over a number of failures blamed on the Government.