PADRAIG O’Sullivan has been chosen to represent Fianna Fáil in the race to win the Dáil seat left vacant by Billy Kelleher in Cork North Central.
Mr O'Sullivan came through a hard-fought battle at tonight's selection convention against city councillors Ken O’Flynn and Tony Fitzgerald in the Commons Inn.
The Cork North Central seat was recently vacated by Billy Kelleher following his election to the European Parliament.
Mr O’Sullivan will now be the Fianna Fáil candidate if a by-election is called.
The seat must be filled within six months of being vacated unless a general election is called in the meantime.
Either way, Mr O'Sullivan, from Little Island but living in Glanmire, will be the Fianna Fáil candidate.
He was selected by party members following the second count of votes at last night's convention, winning 49 of the 108 votes in the first count and gaining 9 more in the second count after Ken O’Flynn was eliminated.
The quota for the seat was 55 votes.
A secondary school teacher in Fermoy and councillor for the Cobh municipal district, Mr O’Sullivan immediately urged his colleagues to write to Fianna Fāil headquarters to ask them to add a second candidate to the ticket when a general election is called.
“I think we can regain the second seat which we had for many years,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
"Healthy competition is vital within constituencies."
Ken O’Flynn, whose father Noel O’Flynn was a TD in Cork North Central, congratulated Mr O'Sullivan on his successful nomination, but also declared his intention to write to Fianna Fāil headquarters asking to be selected as the second candidate for the constituency.
“I wish Padraig every success, he put in a fair decent campaign, but I truly believe we can win two seats. I hope to be back, selected from HQ for the second seat.”
Former Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald confirmed he will be competing with Mr O'Flynn to be the second candidate on the ticket.