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Tipp political parties go into election mode

Thursday, 15 March 2018

TIPPERARY'S Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parties selected their candidates for the next General Election last weekend in Thurles, with some surprises about exactly whose face will greet voters on their ballot papers.
Whether Fine Gael will run a second candidate in Tipperary in the next General Election has yet to be decided, after the party held a very closely fought selection convention in the Premier Hall in Thurles last Saturday night.
Garret Ahearn was the successful candidate and speaking after his victory Mr Ahearn said it was "an emotional night for me."
“I am proud and honoured to have been selected as the Fine Gael candidate in Tipperary. I am humbled by the trust the party members have placed in me and I will work tirelessly with them to win back a seat for Fine Gael in Tipperary."
Seven candidates contested the convention in what turned out to be a very competitive contest, but it was the young Clonmel man who prevailed and he will go forward to fight the next general election on behalf of the party.
Speaking after the event, the constituency organiser for Fine Gael Maurice Fitzgerald said the party were delighted to have such a large crowd present to select their candidate on Saturday night.
“It was a testament to all the candidates and the pitches that they made that drove such interest in our convention. We heard some great ideas from each of the candidates and we will be working now to bring all of those together to put in our offering to the people of Tipperary before the next election.
“I wish Garret all the best in his quest to win a seat and the party will be backing him 100% in that effort," Mr. Fitzgerald said.
Meanwhile, Tipperary Fianna Fail election candidate, Jackie Cahill, said at their selection event that his party has its sights on reclaiming that coveted seat they lost in the South of the county.
Deputy Cahill, a Thurles native who was celebrated for running an extremely successful social media campaign in the run up to the 2016 election, secured a landslide victory at the party's selection convention in Thurles.
Deputy Cahill polled far ahead of second-place, Roscrea's Cllr Michael Smith and Cllr Siobhan Ambrose came in third place.
It was standing room only in the Anner Hotel for the event which saw Jackie Cahill deliver his speech to rapturous applause from the over 1,000 attendees.
Fianna Fail lost its seat in South Tipperary in the 2011 election when former party TD Mattie McGrath stood as an Independent and Jackie Cahill said the party will fight hard to win it back.
Deputy Cahill was selected in May 2015 to contest the 2016 election and defeated four other contenders.

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