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Fianna Fail TD Billy KelleherPhoto: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
Fianna Fail TD Billy KelleherPhoto: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
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Billy Kelleher: Convention defeat a shock 'but life goes on' 

CORK North Central Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher said his Ireland South Candidate defeat was met with shock and disappointment from his party support, as he was the firm favourite to take the title.

The Cork TD lost out in his bid to be selected as Fianna Fáil’s Ireland South candidate in May’s European elections, missing out by eight votes

Mr Kelleher suggested that the favourite tag, ironically, did not help him garner support on the day with many from West Cork or Kerry forgoing the trip to the Tipperary convention where the vote took place on Saturday, due to bad weather and the Bank Holiday weekend.

Despite this, Mr Kelleher conceded it was a fair fight and he had simply come up short.

Elected candidate, Wexford councillor Malcolm Byrne, will now contest the Ireland South MEP constituency for Fianna Fáil and will be hoping to hold on to the party seat, which is due to be vacated by retiring politician Brian Crowley.

Although Mr Kelleher did not win the vote, there is a chance he could be on the way to Europe as Mr Byrne said that he would not be opposed to a second candidate being added to the ticket.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Kelleher said he would relish the opportunity and said he thought he had a lot to offer in terms of his political career as well as his geographical location, that being Munster.

“I wanted to stand and be selected and even though I was not voted in, I would still like the opportunity to represent Ireland South if considered for the position.”

The Cork TD said that he definitely had something to give, but the decision was out of his hands and up to Fianna Fáil headquarters to decide. Speaking about his defeat, Mr Kelleher said life goes on.

“Politics is about the up and downs and unfortunately on this occasion, this was a down, but life goes on.”