Taoiseach Leo Varadkar receives a presentation from Lucy McCormack, Chairperson of Tipperary Fine Gael,
A crowd of almost 500 assembled in The Ragg to attend the Tipperary Fine Gael General Election Declaration Convention.
The convention was the party’s first step in a process to select its candidates for the next General Election and will be followed by a series of five “hustings” (or debates) throughout the county amongst the prospective candidates over the coming months.
The event was attended and addressed by Fine Gael leader, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D., who reminded those present that Tipperary is the only county in the country which does not have a government T.D. representing it and he emphasised the importance of the party taking at least one seat in Tipperary in the next general election.
The Taoiseach also paid tribute to his former parliamentary and ministerial colleague Tom Hayes, whom he thanked for his efforts in various posts during a distinguished political career, which came to an end with last week’s announcement that he does not intend to contest the next election.
At the Declaration convention - Maurice Fitzgerald, F.G. Constituency Organiser; Lucy McCormack, Chairperson of Tipperary Fine Gael; Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D.; Minister Simon Coveney T.D.; Deirdre Clune M.E.P.; and Margaret Hogan, Constituency Secretary, Tipperary Fine Gael.
In total, seven candidates put their names forward for consideration and each addressed the large attendance in turn, outlining their own ambition to represent the interests of Tipperary on the national stage and the areas of policy in which they take a particular interest.
The seven declared candidates are; Garret Ahearn, Noel Coonan, Cllr. Michael Fitzgerald, Cllr. Maria Hanna Hourigan, Shelagh Marshall, Cllr. Michael Murphy and Mary Newman.
The convention was chaired by the party’s deputy leader, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney T.D., who said it was heartening to see so many fine candidates coming forward, looking to become the party’s standard bearers in a county in which Fine Gael has traditionally been very well supported.
The first of the hustings events is scheduled to take place in Carrick-on-Suir in October with further debates amongst the candidates in Roscrea, Tipperary Town, Nenagh and Clonmel. The party’s general election candidates are expected to be selected early in 2018.