THE MEATH EAST by-election will be held on 27 March, it has been confirmed today.
The announcement means there is just over three weeks to go until the vote to fill the seat vacated by the death of Fine Gael TD and Minister of State Shane McEntee last December.
McEntee’s daughter Helen McEntee is likely to run for Fine Gael in the by-election with Fianna Fáil senator Thomas Byrne likely to be her closest challenger.
The Labour Party has yet to select a candidate and is now faced with a race against time to select someone to run in the constituency.
A party spokesperson said today that the process of selecting a candidate is under way and letters have been sent to party membership in the area asking for expressions of interest.
The deadline for letters to be returned from interested individuals is this Thursday and a selection convention will be held after that but no date has yet been set for this convention.
“It’ll be sooner rather than later. The announcement has certainly brought it into sharp focus,” the spokesperson said.
Sinn Féin has nominated Darren O’Rourke, an advisor to the party’s health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, to run in the constituency.
Seamus McDonagh will run for the Workers’ Party, who ran in Meath West in the 2011 general election.
The Green Party will select Seán Ó Buachalla, who finished last in the 2011 election.