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Michael O'Neill and Rita McInerney.

O’Neill and McInerney seek FF nomination

FORMER Clare County Board GAA chairman Michael O’Neill will be among the candidates at the West Clare Fianna Fáil convention on Monday evening in the Armada Hotel at 8pm.

Ennis Chamber chief executive, Doonbeg woman Rita McInerney, has also indicated she is very likely to stand.

The convention will select candidates to run in the new West Clare constituency in the 2014 Local Elections.

Nominations are open until Friday evening. Sitting county councillors Bill Chambers, Pat Keane and PJ Kelly have also been nominated, along with sitting Kilrush town councillor Tom Prendeville.

It is believed three candidates will be selected from the old West Clare constituency, to run for Fianna Fáil in the new eight-seat constituency. However, it is unclear ifanyone else will be added to the possible list of three candidates, who are likely be joined in the same constituency by North Clare councillors Michael Hillery and Richard Nagle. Both are nominated by the north Clare branch, who will hold a parallel convention on Monday in the Armada Hotel.

Michael O’Neill said he is allowing his name to go forward for selection because he has been approached to stand by local units within the party.

“A number of cummans and individuals asked me to go forward. I wouldn’t like to be going against PJ Kelly per se but the fact that they asked me to go and I have been nominated, I will allow my name to go forward at convention,” the Ballyea man told The Clare Champion.

“I have been involved in community work for many years and would like to be involved in working for the people of the constituency and the county. They are the reasons I’m going forward,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rita McInerney said it is very likely that she will stand. “I am considering putting my name forward as a nominee to the convention. Last time out I ran as an independent in Ennis because the geographical area I wanted to represented did not fit with what Fianna Fáil wanted at the time,” she explained.

“I’ve moved back to West Clare in the last couple of years. I’m still talking to people within the party to see if the support is there and if it works out, I would be delighted to represent the people of West Clare. By putting yourself forward, you’re giving people a choice and I’m happy to do that,” she added.

Peter O’Connell

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