It looks like there will be at least ten names on the general election ticket in Clare when people next go to the polls.
That’s after Fianna Fáil completed its ticket by announcing that Doonbeg businesswoman Rita McInerney and Councillor Cathal Crowe will both look to win a second seat for the party.
Rita McInerney was defeatd in a vote by Dr. John Hillery at April’s selection convention, an event which also saw Councillor Crowe withdraw his name from consideration, amid anger at the party’s strategy to split the county for selection purposes.
Now though, after Dr. John Hillery’s withdrawal, both have been selected to replace him.
Fianna Fáil says this completes their line-up in Clare. In a statement, leader Micheál Martin says the ticket – which also includes Deputy Timmy Dooley – is “incredibly strong” and they’re determined to win a second seat.
Both of the new candidates have expressed delight at the move. Councillor Crowe, who has been a member of Clare County Council since 2004, wants to represent his county in the Dáil.
And while she’s expecting a challenge, Rita McInerney is hoping to get the backing of voters from West Clare.
While it’s not yet clear when the next election will be held, many of the main political parties have already set out their stalls and both candidates enter an increasingly crowded field.
Junior Minister Pat Breen, Deputy Joe Carey and Senator Martin Conway will run for Fine Gael; Sinn Fein have selected Councillor Mike McKee and 2016 candidate Noeleen Moran, while Independent Deputy Micháel Harty will look to defend his seat.
Former TD Michael McNamara has also previously indicated that he will run, but said this would either be as part of the Labour ticket or as an Independent.