COUNCILLOR Joe Kavanagh, Julie O’Leary and Damien Boylan have been selected to contest northside seats for Fine Gael at the local elections next year.
The trio were selected at a party convention in the Commons Inn on Thursday night. Mr Kavanagh is the only sitting Fine Gael councillor on the northside, having represented Cork North East since 2011, and acting as Deputy Lord Mayor to Des Cahill in 2017.
He will be seeking to keep his seat in the expanded ward, with a candidate from the Glanmire area expected to be added to the ticket before the election.
Ms O’Leary is already on the Dáil ticket with Senator Colm Burke but will be seeking a council seat in Cork North West in the meantime. The barrister, who lives in the Sunday’s Well area, previously ran in the 2016 general election but was unsuccessful.
While she targets city voters, Mr Boylan, who hails from Blarney, will tackle the more rural part of the ward that is being added to Cork North West. He is moving from county to city politics, having finished fourth on first preferences in the Blarney-Macroom Cork County Council area in 2014, but narrowly missing on transfers on the last count.
Ms O’Leary believes the general election will fall after the local elections and that Fine Gael have a real opportunity to win back seats in Cork North West.
“This area has suffered due to the lack of Fine Gael representation and connection to the Government. We must always be mindful of the fact that this ward contains some of the most deprived areas in Ireland and we must do everything we can to change this. We need to make sure that Tower, Blarney, Clogheen, Kerrypike and the other rural areas are integrated seamlessly into the city, and that sensible local development is prioritised,” she said.
Mr Boylan said he was “delighted to have been chosen to contest the new expanded city ward.”
Mr Kavanagh said he was “proud, privileged and delighted” to be selected again.