ELECTED at the first time of asking in the 2014 local elections, Cllr Niall Kelleher has been identified as the future of the Fianna Fail party in Killarney following ratification at a selection convention in the town on Sunday.
He was elected unopposed to contest next year’s Kerry County Council election in the Killarney Municipal District area.
The Rathmore man, who has a business in Killarney, got the unanimous backing of over 70 delegates in attendance in the Gleneagle Hotel with Senator Ned O’Sullivan chairing the event.
Earlier outgoing councillor John Joe Culloty and the others nominated, former councillor Tom Doherty, postman John O’Shea and auctioneer Ken O’Sullivan, withdrew from the race.
Cllr Kelleher said he was greatly encouraged by the decision of the party to endorse him and he pledged to do everything possible to ensure a second candidate is identified to help Fianna Fail to retain its two seats in the Killarney area.
He also paid tribute to retiring councillor John Joe Culloty who he described as an excellent colleague with whom he had a wonderful working relationship.
Cllr Culloty, meanwhile, has revealed that he had made his mind up after the 2014 election that he would not seek re-election in 2019.
He referenced his unhappiness with the stance FF leader Micheál Martin and the party adopted in the abortion referendum debate and said it merely confirmed the decision he had made to opt out.
Cllr Culloty said he is also concerned that local councils have grown to the extent that they are becoming very hard to control and it is taking too long to get simple things done.
The offer of a new sales job with local brick and stone and haulage company Paul Fitzgerald has also influenced his decision as he would not be able to work on a full time basis while serving on the council.
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