Big parties to keep their powder dry ahead of General Election 2016


Andrew Hamilton
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Clare’s two main political parties are to keep their powder dry over the next few weeks with neither Fine Gael or Fianna Fail likely to name their initial General Election line-up until the end of April at the earliest.
Following a spate of recent candidate announcement, with Noeleen Moran (SF) and Roisin Garvey (GP) getting the nod from their respective parties over the past two weeks, a quick candidates announcement from the establishment parties had been muted.
A Clare Fianna Fail spokesperson told the Clare People yesterday that there was currently no date set for the party’s selection convention in Clare and no decision on a local candidate is now likely to be made until after the party’s Ard Fheis on April 24 and 25.
The make up of the Fianna Fail ticket in Clare is likely to be hotly contested with Timmy Dooley certain to run and Clare GAA chairperson, Michael ‘Malty’ McDonagh, also certain to at least seek the party nomination.
With John Hillery (FF), who won 6,000 first preference votes in the 2011 General Election, yet to announce his intention and the Fianna Fail head office understood to be keen on running a female candidate – the make up of the party’s ticket is far from decided.
Despite announcing that the party was on “election footing” after their Annual General Meeting in Ennis last week – Fine Gael look just as far from announcing their election lime-up than Fianna Fail.
A party spokesperson said he had “no clue” when a convention might be held in Clare when question by the Clare People last week.
The party faces a difficult selection process with Pat Breen, Joe Carey, Tony Mulcahy and Martin Conway all expecting to be on the ticket. Conway, who has a long standing friendship with Renua leader Lucinda Creighton and her husband Paul Bradford, looks a prime candidate to defect to the new party if he doesn’t get the Fine Gael nomination.
A Labour party spokesperson told the Clare People yesterday that their convention could be months away. With a large number of Independents expected to contest the election, only Shannon Cllr Gerry Flynn, has put himself forward as a candidate.


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