FIANNA Fáil in Clare are struggling to finalise their General Election ticket following Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy’s decision to turn down their offer of a spot on the ticket beside Deputy Timmy Dooley and Michael McDonagh.
Cllr Colleran Molloy was approached by the party last Friday to allow her name to be added to the FF election line-up but declined the offer. Speaking to The Clare People on Monday Cllr Molloy said her decision was not an easy one;
“I was asked by Fianna Fáil HQ to let my name go forward and thought long and hard about it. However over eight weeks had passed since the Fianna Fáil Convention and in that time I had made a number of work and other political commitments, which I felt I could not turn my back on,” she told us.
“After talking it through with family and friends I felt that at this time I simply couldn’t commit to standing at the next General Election. Of course I was flattered to be asked and when the election is called I will be doing all I can to help those on the Fianna Fáil ticket to be elected,’ Cllr Colleran Molloy said.
The Quin native and Ennis based councillor was first elected to Clare County Council in 2014 and polled strongly at the FF selection convention in July, where she garnered over a hundred votes. Speculation had increased in recent weeks that she would be added to the ticket when rumours of internal party polls suggested Fianna Fáil was not close to winning a second seat in the county.
A spokesperson for Fianna Fáil told The Clare People on Monday that plans for the ticket in Clare ‘remain under active consideration’. The spokesperson added, “We respect totally Cllr Colleran Molloy’s decision not to stand.”
Cllr Colleran Molloy’s addition to the ticket would also have eased the party’s gender quota worries and this may yet see them turn to West Clare based Rita McInerney, who also stood at July’s convention.
There are currently two female candidates confirmed as running in the upcoming election. Sinn Fein’s Noleen Moran was joined by Cllr Ann Norton last week when the Ennis based Independent confirmed her intention to stand. Cllr Molloy’s decision could yet influence Fine Gael thinking on their election slate with Cllr Mary Howard now a live contender to be added to their ticket.
The fall-out from Cllr Colleran Molloy’s decision not to stand could hurt Fianna Fáil in the county according to one well placed insider who told The Clare People on Monday that this was devastating news; “If candidates the calibre of Clare Colleran Molloy can’t be gotten onto the ticket then we’re in trouble. She should have been added from day one. We could struggle now to get one elected,” he said.

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