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Fianna Fáil selects team of four in Claremorris


Fianna Fáil selects team of four in Claremorris

Michael Commins

FIANNA Fáil has confirmed its team to contest the Claremorris Electoral Area in next year highly anticipated local elections.
Four candidates, Damien Ryan (outgoing), John P Kean, Seamus Caulfield and John Caulfield, were nominated and elected unopposed at the Convention held in the Dalton Inn Hotel, Claremorris on Sunday evening.
Galway TD and Leas Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Eireann, Michéal Kitt, chaired the meeting. Austin Garvin, chairman of the local Claremorris FF Cumann, delivered the address of welcome and also the closing words of thanks. The meeting also heard that former Mayo footballer Dermot Flanagan had been appointed as strategist for the party in the Claremorris Electoral Area.
The mood among the large gathering was one of renewed optimism ahead of the challenge next May. The enlarged Claremorris area will now be a seven seat constituency and Fianna Fáil is targeting three seats. The party has gone with a strategy of electing one candidate in each of the Comhairle Ceanntair areas.

Worst ever outing
Back in June, 2009, Fianna Fáil suffered its worst ever outing in Mayo. The party only secured one of the six seats in the Claremorris Electoral area. Even at this stage, Fianna Fáil look almost certain to take two seats and expect to put in a strong bid for a third.
Kilkelly based John Caulfield, with a strong outreach in Kilmovee, was elected to represent the Charlestown area. His namesake Seamus Caulfield, a Ballyhaunis based businessman, will represent the Ballyhaunis area. Former Mayo inter county footballer John P Kean, will represent the  Claremorris Electoral area, with sitting councillor Damien Ryan seeking election in the Ballinrobe Electoral area.
Eamon Ó Cuiv TD., and Dara Calleary attended the Convention, together with former TD and Senator John Carty, and numerous sitting and former councillors from all over Mayo. There was much speculation in recent days and weeks if former councillor Michael Carty form Knock would seek a nomination. As things transpired, Michael did not attend the Convention on Sunday evening.
John Caulfield paid tribute to the late PJ Morley TD saying his work for Knock Airport was his biggest legacy. He opined that the current Government had let down Knock Airport by giving money to Shannon Airport.
Seamus Caulfield thanked the Micheál Waldron Comhairle Ceanntair for nominating him to go forward. He also spoke in glowing terms of the late PJ Morley.
He praised John and Michael Carty for their work for the party in the past. He promised that if he was elected he would continue the good work for Fianna Fáil.
‘A team player’
John P Kean thanked the Claremorris Comhairle Ceanntair for inviting him to go forward. He described himself as a team player, not a solo runner.  He said he was used to helping people with their problems all his life in his professional capacity.
Outgoing councillor, Damien Ryan cited the closing of Garda Stations as a huge mistake. He said crime was on the increase due to the fact that Minister Shatter was ignorant of the importance of having Gardai based locally where they have knowledge of the local areas.
Deputy Dara Calleary joined in the tributes to the late PJ Morley and hit out at Government cutbacks across a variety of services pertaining to rural Ireland. He told the gathering that not one member of the Fine Gael party attended a recent pre-budget meeting held in Castlebar organised by carers in the county. He stated Mayo only received one visit from the IDA in the last year despite having four Government TDs including the Taoiseach in Mayo. Roscommon had four visits.
Galway TD, Eamon ó Cuiv, who will be seeking Mayo votes in the next General Election as a large chuck of the South Mayo region has been transferred to the Galway West Constituency, paid his own tribute to the late PJ Morley.  He said every effort should be made to help Knock Airport and described it ‘as the hub of industry in the West’.

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