MICHAEL Cahill has formally confirmed his intention to run for the Dáil.
The Rossbeigh-based councillor met with supporters in Glenbeigh last night and told KillarneyToday.com today afterwards that he will seek a nomination at the upcoming Fianna Fail convention which will take place shortly after the nominations window closed this Friday.
He said whether one or two candidates are selected to join sitting TD John Brassil on the ticket should be a matter for the grassroots membership in Kerry and not FF headquarters.
“What is the point in becoming a member of the organisation here in Kerry or paying your €20 membership fee each year if you are not allowed have a say in who represents you or how many?” he said.
“Fianna Fail have a number of excellent candidates, both male and female, and it is my firm belief that the party members here in Kerry should be allowed choose the strongest team to represent the county,” he added.
Cllr Cahill said he hopes the party headquarters “will not repeat the mistakes of the past” and that members are allowed to make a democratic decision.
In the last general election delegates were told to pick just one candidate but Cllr Norma Moriarty was later added to the ticket to join Deputy Brassil.
Cllr Cahill was co-opted to Kerry County Council in 1990 following the death of his father Cllr Tom Cahill.
He quit Fianna Fail after being narrowly defeated by former minister John O’Donoghue at the 2011 convention and he joined forces with independent TD Tom Fleming, becoming his personal assistant for over three years before rejoining Fianna Fail in the summer of 2016.
In the 2014 local elections, Cllr Cahill polled an impressive 2,306 first preference votes and out-performed every other Fianna Fail candidate in Kerry.
Intense rivalry has emerged within the party ranks in the county with Cllr Tom McEllistrim, Senator Mark Daly and Mayor of Tralee Cllr Norma Foley all declaring that they will also be seeking a nomination.
Cllr Norma Moriarty – who polled over 4,300 votes in the last general election – is also expected to have her name on the ticket while Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher, said he will make a decision when FF headquarters confirms its preferred election strategy in the coming weeks. He stressed, however, that it is not his intention to challenge sitting TD John Brassil if there is to be only one candidate selected at convention.
Cllr Michael O’Shea, from Milltown, has previously hinted that he will seek a nomination.
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