‘No truth’ to Ó hAilpín FF election rumours

‘No truth’ to Ó hAilpín FF election rumours
Fianna Fáíl sources dismissed suggestions former Cork hurler Seán Óg Ó hAlpín would run for the party in Cork North Central. Pic: Brian Lougheed

SOURCES in Fianna Fáil have dismissed the chances of All-Ireland winning Cork Hurler Seán Óg Ó hAlpín running for the party in Cork North Central.

While Jack Lynch might have made the move from playing from representing the northside on the pitch to representing the northside in the Dáil, members sources in the party said that there was nothing to the rumours that Mr Ó hAlpín will be Billy Kelleher's running mate at the next election.

The rumours emerged after he spoke at the party's Seán Moylan Commemoration in Kiskeam on Sunday. He called the former Fianna Fáil Minister and War of Independence veteran a "trailblazer" who had inspired him to lead and mentor younger generations of sportspeople.

Mr Ó hAlpín is still a popular figure on the northside, after growing up in Blarney and being educated in the North Mon before winning All-Ireland medals in 1999, 2004, and 2005.

However, the rumours that he is a potential candidate are new to members on the ground in Cork North Central, who will decide the candidates at an upcoming convention.

With two candidates, Cllr Kenneth O'Flynn and Cllr John Sheehan already in the running, and the potential entry of Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald, the race to run alongside the party's sitting TD and constituency poll-topper, Billy Kelleher, is already crowded.

While the central party can circumvent the conventions and appoint its own candidate, it is believed that it is more likely that a woman would be appointed to meet gender quotas.

No convention date has been set for the constituency yet. Fianna Fáil headquarters declined to comment on the rumours.

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