One member, one vote - ‘new concept’

"Members of the Midland Regional Authoritypictured at the Annual General Meeting held in Longford on 28th July"Standing from left to right : Councillors Noel Bourke, Patrick Bracken, JohnBonham, Micheal Carrigy, Victor Kiernan, Gerard Corcoran, Johnny Penrose,Joe Flanagan, Brendan Phelan, Larry Bannon, Martin Phelan, Eamon Dooley,Peter Ormond, Fintan Cooney, Gerard Plunkett, Paddy Hill, Mick CahillSeated from left to right : Councillors Paddy Belton, James Daly, JamesDeegan, Constance Hanniffy (Chairperson), Mr. Tim Caffrey, County ManagerLongford and designated County Manager of the Midland Regional Authority,Mr. Sean Murray, acting Director of the Midland Regional Authority. Picture by Willie Farrell.
One member one vote is a “whole new concept” according to Cllr Paddy Bracken, who failed to receive a nomination at last week’s Fianna Fail selection convention.

One member one vote is a “whole new concept” according to Cllr Paddy Bracken, who failed to receive a nomination at last week’s Fianna Fail selection convention.

“There is a whole new system in place and it is a whole new concept that is only bedding in. Of course I am disappointed but that is the way it worked out”.

Cllr Bracken added that he is “not contemplating at all”, running as an independent in next year’s election.

Cllr Brendan Phelan also expressed his upset at not receiving a nomination at last week’s convention.

Cllr Phelan told the Leinster Express that he was “a bit disappointed” at the result. “My father was there in the 1970s and my brother Kieran was there in the 1980s”.

Cllr Phelan said that he didn’t know if he would run independently in next year’s elections. “I haven’t thought about that yet, I am waiting to see the reaction from party headquarters”.

He added that this was the first time the new voting system had been used in the process. This system involves one vote per one member, previously three delegates from every cumann had a vote.

“Sitting councillors didn’t recruit new members and potential candidates did. There’s bound to be a few glitches the first time around, the next time it will be more established”.

The town of Mountmellick is now faced with the prospect of having no Fianna Fail councillor, after having three town councillors on their town council.

Cllr Paddy Bracken was the only Fianna Fail councillor from Mountmellick who was elected to Laois County Council. He will serve in Laois County Council until May next year.

Both a TD and minister were based in the town of Mountmellick up to the last general election.