ENNIS Councillor Mary Howard has joined the race to receive the Fine Gael nomination at the party’s convention to decide its general election candidates, saying, “I’ve proved myself”.
The councillor joins sitting TDs Joe Carey and Pat Breen and Senators Tony Mulcahy and Martin Conway in seeking the party’s nomination on September 11. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Councillor Howard said the decision to seek nomination is something that she has been thinking over for some time.
“I’ve been mulling it over in my mind, I love what I do and I see my future within Fine Gael. I absolutely love my job within Clare County Council but I thought now is the time to put my hat in the ring.
“I believe that I’ve proved myself over the last six years. I’ve worked hard and I have been very involved in my community. A lot of people have asked me would I go forward and when you hear that it’s a real boost, a confirmation that you’re doing something right,” she added.
Councillor Howard, the daughter of the late former Fine Gael Senator, Michael Howard, said the gender quota has not played a factor in her decision. “I’m not a fan of the gender quota, I never was,” she said, adding that she hopes that her track record of working with various organisations and community groups will stand for itself.
“The gender quota is a mechanism that is available to bring more women on board in politics but I am standing on my own merits,” she said.
Councillor Howard was first elected onto the Ennis Town Council in 2009, while she became a member of Clare County Council in May 2014. She was elected deputy mayor of the Ennis Municipal District earlier this summer.
By Jesssica Quinn