Former Fine Gael Deputy John Perry will run as an independent
Guess who is back? Back again ... John Perry, former Fine Gael TD and Minister of State has announced he will contest the next general election in Sligo Leitrim as an independent.
After months of waiting to see who Fine Gael would put on their general election ticket along with Senator Frank Feighan; Sligo councillor Thomas Walsh was added last week.
Cllr Walsh, from Ballygawley, Co Sligo was added to contest the constituency during a meeting of Fine Gael’s Executive Council last week. A number of candidates interviews for the role.
It is the first time Thomas Walsh will contest a general election and at the age of 34, he will be the youngest candidate in the constituency.
But he faces a tough challenge. Former Fine Gael Junior Minister John Perry has announced he will contest the next election as an independent.
Perry who lost his Dáil seat with Fine Gael in the last election failed to get the party's nomination this time.
He represented Fine Gael for 19 years including as Minister of State for small businesses from 2011 - 2014.
Perry said he will no longer be “constrained by the party” and hopes to hold the government to account and to maximise and deliver for the region.
Perry had hinted previously that he would consider going independent, but made his decision following Fine Gael's selection of Cllr Thomas Walsh.
Cllr Walsh worked as parliamentary assistant and also as Ministerial Aide to John Perry, so the two know each other well and will be competing for the same vote.
Cllr Walsh was elected to Sligo County Council in the Sligo-Drumcliff electoral area in May’s local elections, he says he is determined to get the best possible result for Fine Gael in the next General Election.
According to Fine Gael: “Walsh has a proven track record in working with multiple local voluntary community groups across Sligo, in support of voluntary sector activism and community development projects over many years.