Fianna Fail to pick Tipp General Election candidate on Thursday night

Six candidates will seek the party nomination when Fianna Fail holds its selection convention in Thurles this Thursday for the Tipperary constituency in the next general election.

Six candidates will seek the party nomination when Fianna Fail holds its selection convention in Thurles this Thursday for the Tipperary constituency in the next general election.

Fianna Fail was left without a seat in both the old south and north constituencies following the last election and is now bidding to regain a foothold in the new all-county five seat constituency.

Former TD and government advisor Martin Mansergh is among those seeking the nomination, along with five County Council members - Jackie Cahill, Siobhan Ambrose, John Carroll, Imelda Goldsboro and Michael Smith Jr.

The new Tipperary constituency is expected to be one of the most intriguing in the country in the next election, with all six outgoing TDs - Minister Tom Hayes and Noel Coonan (Fine Gael); Minister Alan Kelly (Labour) and Independents Michael Lowry, Seamus Healy and Mattie McGrath - all expected to stand again, with Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein also pressing for one of those five seats. One other independent candidate has already declared and more may follow.

Fine Gael have already held their convention with Minister Hayes and Noel Coonan selected on the ticket.

In a statement this week in advance of the Fianna Fail convention, Cllr Jackie Cahill said he is confident of selection, having canvassed the length and breadth of the county during the last number of months.

“Having spoken to the people of Tipperary, the overwhelming feeling on the ground is to ensure the citizens of the Premier County have their voices heard in Dail Eireann, something which is sadly lacking during the present administration.

“Thursday’s convention gives an opportunity to the Fianna Fail delegates to select a strong candidate to contest the next election. Given my background, I feel I have a lot to offer and crucially, can offer a fresh voice to help the party regain a seat at the next election. Thursday’s convention is about the future, not the past and I am confident of being chosen as a candidate for the next election”.

The first time councillor is a farmer by trade, based in Killinan on the outskirts of Thurles. He served as the President of the ICMSA (Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association) from 2005 to 2011 while also being a member of the Irish Dairy Board and Bord Bia during that period.

He has a long record of achievement in local and national politics in both the farming and business world. He is currently serving as a Director of Thurles Greyhound Stadium, is an active member of Centenary Thurles and is Chairman of the National Dairy Council since 2011.