Fine Gael in Galway West is put on election footing


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Fine Gael in Galway West is put on election footing Fine Gael in Galway West is put on election footing

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Fine Gael has been put on an election footing in Galway West.

The party this week issued a call for nominations for a selection convention for candidates to run in the General Election in the constituency.

Kathleen Fahy, constituency secretary, wrote to all FG branch secretaries to confirm candidates for convention require nominations from at least two members to be submitted before July 10.

The selection convention will take place on Friday, July 19, in the Menlo Park Hotel.

The General Election must be held before next March, but speculation is rife that party leader and Taoiseach Simon Harris will dissolve the Dáil and plump for an autumn poll.

The Dáil rises for summer recess next week, and sources in Fine Gael in Galway West said the 33rd Dáil was “unlikely to sit again”.

Instead of returning to parliament, TDs are expecting to be thrust into an election campaign in September.

Fine Gael’s better-than-expected performance in the Local and European Elections, and higher ratings than Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil in the latest opinion polls, has all fuelled speculation that it will happen sooner rather than later.

Tributes in the Oireachtas Tuesday to Social Democrats’ founders, Deputies Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall, who announced their Dáil retirement, added weight to the theory of an early ballot.

Or as one FG wag rather less politely put it: “All the nonsense statements paying tribute to the two co-leaders looked like their two massive egos making sure they got their chance to grab the limelight before the Dáil finishes up. They all know it’s highly unlikely to sit again.”

Hildegarde Naughton, Government Chief Whip, and Minister of State attending Cabinet, is the sitting Fine Gael TD in Galway West.

She’ll be joined on the ticket by former TD and former Chief Whip, Senator Seán Kyne in Moycullen, who was recently appointed deputy leader of the Seanad, and leader of the FG group in the upper house.

Whether they show ambition and add a third candidate, in a bold strategy for two of the five seats, remains to be seen.

Pictured: An Taoiseach Simon Harris canvassed in Galway City on June 7, polling day, with Fine Gael Councillors, Frank Fahy, Eddie Hoare and Clodagh Higgins, MEP Maria Walsh, Senator Seán Kyne, and Deputy Hildegarde Naughton. They could be back on the campaign trail soon.


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