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Former GAA president among candidates for Fianna Fail Local Election Convention in Borris-Mountmellick area

Liam and Aine O'Neill at the GAA Annual Congress in The Heritage Golf and Spa Resort. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The former President of the GAA has put his name in the hat to be selected by Fianna Fail to run as a Local Election candidate in 2019.

Liam O’Neill, who served at the helm of the GAA between 2012 and 2015 and held a variety of roles at club, county and provincial level prior to that, is set to go forward at the upcoming selection convention for the Borris-In-Ossory-Mountmellick area.

LaoisToday understands that the Trumera man will be among three other candidates that will put themselves forward next week.

These include the two sitting Cllrs, Seamus McDonald of Rosenallis and Paddy Bracken of Mountmellick.

While there is another newcomer in the form of Sean Mortimer of Camross.

He would be most known in GAA circles – having served as chairman of the hurling board of the Laois County Board from 2014 to 2017.

He replaced Peter O’Neill as Vice-Chairman of the County Board after defeating the Portlaoise man by three votes, 72 to 69, at the County Convention in 2016 – a role he stepped down from last year.

He has also been actively involved in his club having previously served as chairman of the 26 time Laois SHC winners.

LaoisToday also understands that three of the Fianna Fail candidates who contested the Election in 2014 are not going forward this time – Michael G Phelan, Joe Digan and Gerard Phelan.

Former GAA President Liam O’Neill first showed an interest in getting involved in political life during the summer when he was approached to challenge Michael D Higgins for the role of President.

He said back in July that he was considering his options after being approached but later decided against it.

He said that he didn’t ‘have the organisational, logistical or financial platform to mount a campaign’ – which he reckoned would cost around €400,000.

O’Neill recently retired as principal of Gaelscoil Tromaire while his wife Aine also retired as principal of St Fergal’s in Rathdowney.

The Fianna Fail selection convention for the Borris-In-Ossory-Mountmellick area will take place next week.

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