Clare Fianna Fáil members will select their candidates for the next General Election tonight in what could be a fiery convention in Ennis.
The event will be held against the backdrop of rancour amongst some party members over its policy to select candidates.
Five candidates had been nominated for tonight’s convention, but this became four when Michael ‘Malty’ McDonagh, who ran in the last General Election for the party, withdrew from the race.
Sensationally, four then became three last week when Councillor Cathal Crowe announced he was withdrawing from the race amid anger about the party’s planned election policy.
Members here have been told to select two candidates, with one to come from the East of the county and the other from the West.
That meant Councillor Crowe was to take on sitting TD Timmy Dooley, but his withdrawal means that the Mountshannon representative is guaranteed to be selected tonight.
Members from the Western half of the county will now select between John Hillery, who ran for Fianna Fáil in the 2011 election, and former Ennis Chamber CEO Rita McInerney of Doonbeg.
Efforts have been made in recent days by some party members to reverse what they have called an ‘undemocratic’ strategy, with former Fianna Fáil Director of Elections Michael Neylon amongst that group.
However, with no change likely, some fiery scenes could occur at tonight’s convention at Hotel Woodstock.