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Thu, Nov
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Three talking points from the FG selection convention


TEAM DILLONSuccessful FG candidate Alan Dillon was joined by former Mayo team-mates, Barry Moran, Donie Vaughan and Aidan O'Shea at the convention in the TF Royal Theatre, Castlebar.  Pic: Michael McLaughlin


1. Johnno set for Europe?
Senator John O’Mahony was part of the ‘Fab Four’ who were elected to Dáil Eireann for Fine Gael in 2011, before losing his seat when forced to run in the Galway West/South Mayo constituency in 2016.
He has long been touted as a potential candidate for the European elections, given his strong GAA connections in Mayo, Galway and Leitrim, and it does now seem likely he will be on the ballot paper in 2019.
Both Deputy Michael Ring and sitting MEP Mairead McGuinness were quick to tout the Senator as an ideal candidate for Europe on Sunday evening, and while O’Mahony stopped short of confirming his intentions during his own address, he did say he hoped to receive the support of the party’s delegates if his name appears before them in the future!

2. Standing ovation for departing Enda
Enda Kenny has received plenty of standing ovations in the TF Royal Theatre down through the years, but there was most definitely a sincerity in the air when the crowd took to their feet after a short address from the former Taoiseach at the start of the convention. The next General Election will be the first one since 1951 where a Kenny name will not be going before the Mayo public, so a laid back Kenny took to his feet before the convention proper to offer his thanks to the Fine Gael family. He did, however, warn that “I’m not going away, you know”, stating he will still be working as a party TD until the next General Election.

3. Proposers and seconders
It can be a daunting task getting up in front of a thousand plus people to propose or second a candidate but all eight of those who had the task on Sunday evening did a fine job.
Some were more experienced than others, and timing restrictions were an issue which some ignored, but for the record here were the proposers and seconders:
Alan Dillon – proposed by Cllr Henry Kenny and seconded by Finian Bourke, a 17-year-old Ballintubber footballer and Young Fine Gael member.
Senator Michelle Mulherin – proposed by Cllr Joe Mellett and seconded by Edel Cadden, a member of Crossmolina Fine Gael.
Cllr Patsy O’Brien – proposed by Owen Roe O’Neill, a Ballinrobe businessman, and seconded by former Claremorris councillor, Cormac Hanley.
Deputy Michael Ring – proposed by Cllr Tereasa McGuire, Westport, and seconded by Cllr Gerry Coyle, Belmullet.