THE DAUGHTER OF the late TD Shane McEntee has tonight been selected as Fine Gael’s candidate to run for the Meath East by-election.
During a selection convention in Kells today, Helen McEntee, 26, was chosen unopposed to run as the party’s candidate to fill the seat left vacant after her father’s death.
Speaking after her selection, McEntee said she was “delighted” to have been chosen.
“I could never hope to fill my father’s shoes. But I can promise to work just as hard as he did,” she said. “He was an incredible man with a passionate determination to serve his community.”
McEntee said she had been working with her father to help “address the challenges facing people in Meath East” in the preceeding two-and-a-half years.
Director of Elections, Frances Fitzgerald TD, said: “Helen is an impressive and committed candidate. I have no doubt she will be extremely dedicated TD if elected to Dáil Eireann. She has first-hand experience on the real issues facing families and all the people in this community.”
Campaign Manager and Meath West TD, Damien English, said McEntee had “the experience, the academic credentials and the dedication to make a great TD”.
Meanwhile, TheJournal.ie learned earlier this evening that Fine Gael’s coalition partner, the Labour Party, was not due to hold a convention to choose its candidate in the Meath East by-election until the end of March – and that the party may have not have expected the ballot to be called this week.
It has emerged that senior figures within the Labour ranks had not expected the election to be held for another month – and that Fine Gael may have stolen a march on its coalition rival by calling the vote without Labour having chosen a candidate.