The Labour Party has finally entered the local election reckoning in Clare, with Seamus Ryan confirmed as the party’s candidate in the Ennis Municipal District.
Mr Ryan was confirmed as the party’s candidate at a selection convention in Ennis last night. The way was made clear for his candidacy last Friday when party stalwart Dermot Hayes withdrew his name from consideration, allowing Mr Ryan to run unopposed.
Labour, who have not won a place on Clare County Council since Pascal Fitzgerald took a seat in Killaloe in 2009, are the last party to confirm a candidate for this year’s vote.
The party is expected to select at least two more candidates in Clare ahead of the local election. These candidates, who are expected to run in the Ennistymon and Shannon Municipal Districts, are understood to have backgrounds in the trade union movement and the recent campaign in Clare to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
“My main priority at the moment is to get out and get meeting people. I do that every day through my work with the library service but I believe it is important to meet and to talk to people on a wide variety of issues,” said Mr Ryan yesterday.
“There is a decent chance of winning a seat on behalf of the Labour Party in the next local election. There is a young, progressive, modern voice in Ennis and I don’t think that many of our councillors pick up on the generation change that is happening in Ennis.
“As the main economic driver for the county, along with Shannon, Ennis needs to have a bigger voice at the county council table than we have right now.”
Meanwhile, The Clare People understands that Fianna Fáil may end up running just one candidate, Richard Nagle, in the Ennistymon Municipal District. A party member told The Clare People yesterday that a number of people have been asked to consider running but none have said yes to date.
The party has yet to host a selection convention for the Kilrush Municipal District, with sitting councillors Bill Chambers, PJ Kelly and Tom McNamara all likely to run.
Ian Lynch (IND) has confirmed that he will definitely seek re-election but Christy Curtin (IND), who topped the poll in 2014, is yet to make his intentions known.
Fine Gael have yet to confirm candidates in both the Kilrush and Ennistymon Municipal Districts but an announcement is expected in the coming weeks.