Home News Fine Gael pick their candidates in Laois-Offaly for the next General Election

Fine Gael pick their candidates in Laois-Offaly for the next General Election

Charlie Flanagan, Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy and John Clendennen will represent Fine Gael at the next General Election following the party’s selection convention in Clonaslee this evening.

Upwards of 500 people packed into the Community Hall in the border village but an election was avoided when Thomasina Connell withdrew at the last minute.

All four candidates had spoken and been nominated but Ms Connell withdrew after it was revealed that the party would be selecting three candidates.

It led to an anti climactic atmosphere but ensures that the sitting TDs Deputies Flanagan and Corcoran-Kennedy will be joined on the election ticket by Kinnity-based councillor, 36-year old John Clendennen.

It was his third time to contest the convention. He has been a councillor since 2014, following on from his father Percy who represented the party at local level for 40 years.

The convention was chaired by Kildare South TD Martin Heydon with all four candidates proposed and seconded by various supporters.

All candidates then spoke for five minutes each, putting forward their case as to why they should be  selected.

Thomasina Connell polled over 4,000 votes when she was Minister Charlie Flanagan’s running mate in 2016 and said in her speech that she was a stronger candidate now than she was then.

A huge crowd packed into the hall, the large majority of them from the Offaly side of the costituency – and most of those from the Birr District that Clendennen and Corcoran-Kennedy are from.

Charlie Flanagan will now contest a ninth General Election campaign, whenever that may arise. He was first elected in 1987. Between him and his late father Oliver J, they have fought in 22 General Elections, going all the way back to the late 1940s.

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy was first elected to the Dail in 2011 and was a junior minister for a short while prior to being removed from the post following her show of support for Simon Coventry during last year’s leadership contest.


SEE ALSO – John Moloney planning political comeback as he eyes up General Election bid

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories