FF selection convention meeting to decide on Wexford candidates
Wexford's Fianna Fail selection convention was meeting in Enniscorthy last night (Monday) to decide who will stand for the party in the general election, although there is disquiet over the way the county has been carved up.
Prior to convention it was revealed that Cllr Malcolm Byrne was guaranteed a place on the ticket as he is the only FF candidate representing the party in Wexford and Gorey.
The other four contenders were fighting it out for the only other position available, representing New Ross and Enniscorthy. Outgoing Deputy John Browne's councillor son James was said to be the front runner for the New Ross/Enniscorthy nomination; the others with their hats in the ring are Cllr Barbara-Ann Murphy, from Bunclody, Cllr Michael Sheehan, from New Ross, and Cllr Michael Whelan, from Ballycullane.
Geographically there is an argument for a candidate from the south of the county, with the history of electing Hugh Byrne and Sean Connick and if Cllr Sheehan or Cllr Whelan are not selected, the New Ross area is facing into another five years without a TD as none of the major political parties has picked a candidate to run in the district.
Party insiders said members in New Ross and Wexford were unhappy at the way the county had been divided, and there was always an option that Michael Sheehan may put himself up as an Independent.
'It will be tight enough, there are a lot of paid up members in the New Ross area,' said one. Those already declaring their candidacies or believed to be standing for the five Wexford seats are, Brendan Howlin, Fine Gael's Paul Kehoe and Michael D'Arcy, Independent Mick Wallace, Sinn Fein's Johnny Mythen, Independent Caroline Foxe and People Before Profits' Deirdre Wadding.