Fianna Fáil selects Portlaoise team for Laois County Council election

Sitting councillor not selected for local elections in Laois

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Fianna Fáil local election

From left - Sean Fleming, TD, Donal Kelly, Catherine Fitzgerald, Senator Aidan Davitt, Cllr John Joe Fennelly.

A Laois county councillor, who is also a general election hopeful, is not on Fianna Fáil's Portlaoise area ticket for the next local elections.

Cllr Pauline Madigan failed in her bid to be selected by the Jame McIntosh Portlaoise Cumann less than six months after being co-opted onto Laois County Council in place of the late Jerry Lodge.

Members have selected three candidates to contest the 2019 election at the Portlaoise area selection convention on Monday night, November 19. 

Fianna Fáil's leading vote winner in Laois was returned unopposed for the area outside Portlaoise. Cllr John Joe Fennelly is based in the rural part of the Portlaoise Municipal District which extends south of the town to Abbeyleix and on to Ballinakill near the Kilkenny border.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald topped the voting among members in the urban area where there were five candidates for two spaces on the ticket.

She was joined by newcomer Donal Kelly who won a tight contest with John O'Neill. Cllr Madigan and Dom Dunne were the other two hopefuls.

Back from left: Donal Kelly, Cllr John Joe Fennelly, Dom Dunne and John O'Neill. Front from left: Cllr Pauline Madigan, Catherine Fitzgerald, Senator Aidan Davitt

Tony Flanagan, Cumann chairman, thanked the members for putting their names forward. He congratulated those who were chosen.

He added that he was 'surprised' that Cllr Madigan had not been selected but believed she could not be ruled out of contesting the next general election as a Fianna Fáil candidate in the next general election.

"Never say never," he said.

Mr Flanagan said that the final say on the Laois Offaly team would rest with party headquarters in Dublin.

Portlaoise Municipal District has seven councillors -  three Fianna Fáil, two Fine Gael, one Sinn Féin and one Labour Party.

Fianna Fáil's was strongest outside the urban area at the 2014 elections which saw the Portlaoise Town Council scrapped and Laois County Council downsized to 19 councillors.

Fianna Fáil has yet to confirm its ticket for the other two municipal districts in Laois - Portarlington/Graiguecullen and Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick.