Shock as former Lord Mayor fails to be selected for local elections

Shock as former Lord Mayor fails to be selected for local elections
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and former Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald. Pic; Larry Cummins.

FORMER Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald failed to be selected for the local elections at a Fianna Fáil convention last night.

However, the three-term incumbent is expected to be added to the ticket by party headquarters.

Local members gathered in the Commons Inn last night to select candidates for the Cork City North-West and North-East wards.

Two candidates were to be selected in North-West, with Mr Fitzgerald finishing just behind fellow city councillor Dr John Sheehan and longtime party member Sean Coleman.

After the results were announced, local members backed a motion to request the party's national election strategy committee to add Mr Fitzgerald to the ticket, allowing him to run.

County councillor Bob Ryan, from the Blarney area, had been nominated for the convention, but pulled out on the day and will seek a seat in Macroom for Cork County Council instead.

In North-East, sitting councillors Tim Brosnan and Kenneth O'Flynn were selected, along with party activist Martin Dorgan.

Speaking after the upset loss, Mr Fitzgerald told members that he was disappointed but accepted the result.

"I take this defeat with dignity, and I hold my head up high, with disappointment, but understanding and respecting the democratic process of this organisation.

"Nobody died. Health is wealth. That's the most important thing I take from tonight," he added.

It is believed that the party was planning to add a candidate from the Blarney side of the expanded ward, but this may change to accommodate Mr Fitzgerald on the ticket.

Mr Coleman said that he was "speechless and really shocked" to be selected, and said that he is hopeful Mr Fitzgerald will be added to the ticket in the coming days.

"There is six seats and we won't be happy until we take three of those seats," he said.

Mr Sheehan said that the party should run three candidates in the ward.

"We need to continue to be ambitious, and we certainly should be running three candidates in the ward. Cllr Fitzgerald should certainly be added," he said.

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