Another Fianna Fáil candidate withdraws

Yet another candidate has withdrawn from Fianna Fáil’s forthcoming General Election Selection Convention this week, with Alan Kelly now pulling out.

  The treasurer of the Roscommon branch of Ógra Fianna Fáil, who is from Rathbrennan in Roscommon town, was one of ten candidates who initially accepted the nomination for the Roscommon-Galway convention. 

  Only three confirmed candidates remain in the race: Cllr. Eugene Murphy, Larry Brennan and Ballintubber’s Seán Óg Higgins.

  Mr Kelly, who is 26, said that he did not have sufficient experience to challenge for a Dáil seat.

  He said: “My own ambition has always been to contest the local elections for Fianna Fáil in 2019 and, on that basis, I decided not to actively seek a nomination.

  “However, I was honoured as a younger member of the party to have been nominated. However, my position hasn’t changed and, on that basis, I will not be allowing my name go forward.

  “It’s my view that it would be important to get elected locally first and work hard for your community for at least one term before making any effort to fight for a Dáil seat.”

  Mr Kelly is indirectly involved in the spat between south Roscommon councillors John Keogh, Paddy Kilduff and Ivan Connaughton.

  Fianna Fáil headquarters are investigating the row, and Mr Kelly recenty met with them to support complaints made by Cllr. Keogh.

  He said that matter did not influence his decision to withdraw.

  He said: “I have made no complaint against anyone and, likewise, no one has made a complaint against me.

  “The internal investigation regarding the complaint made by Cllr. Keogh against Cllr. Kilduff and Cllr. Connaughton has not affected my decision in any way, and I don’t believe it should.”

  No date has yet been set for the convention, but Fianna Fáil have confirmed that it will not take place this month. Mr Kelly has criticised the delay.

  He said: “The nominations have closed; candidates have confirmed their positions. I think it is best for everyone all around if the convention happens as soon as possible and people could focus on getting out canvassing and putting forward the strong policies that Fianna Fáil have in place.”