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Ivan Connaughton @ivanconnaughton
Political Race

Fianna Fáil selects candidate to run for Dáil seat in Roscommon/South Leitrim by-election

Councillor Ivan Connaughton is to run for the Dail seat vacated by Luke Ming Flanagan.

IVAN CONNAUGHTON has been selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate in the Roscommon/South Leitrim by-election.

Connaughton from the Athlone-South Roscommon constituency beat Eugene Murphy who was also contesting for the seat tonight at a convention of about 400 delegates.

Vacant seat 

He will be running for the Dáil seat that was vacated by Luke Ming Flanagan when he was elected to Europe. The Dáil contest is expected to take place either shortly before or shortly after the October Budget.

Roscommon-South Leitrim is a three seater-constituency. Eight out of the 18 available seats on Roscommon County Council were taken by Fianna Fáil candiates.

A statement from the party said that Micheál Martin said Connaughton “could make a real and positive difference in politics”. He said he is a “leader in the community” and would make “an excellent addition to my team in Dáil Eireann”.

Speaking about his win tonight, Connaughton, who narrowly missed out on a seat in 2011 election said:

I am really pleased to be given this opportunity to represent the hopes and concerns of the people of this constituency.All across the region, we have families and communities who are really hurting.We read and listen to Government Ministers telling us that we should be grateful because a recovery is underway.But the recovery they are talking about is in Dublin city and proves only the extent to which this Government has abandoned and simply given up on rural Ireland.

He said that he was looking forward to an “energetic” campaign.

Other possibilities who could be running for seat include young Fine Gael activist and first-time candidate Maura Hopkins, Sinn Féin’s Ballinamore councillor Martin Kenny, Labour Senator John Kelly and Independent Valerie Byrne of the Roscommon Hospital Action Committee.

There has also been speculation that garda whistleblower John Wilson could move to the constituency to launch a Dáil bid.

Read: Runners and riders update: Here’s who’s vying to take Brian Hayes’ vacant Dáil seat>

Read: A Ming Dynasty? Here’s who’s in the running to take the MEP’s vacant Dáil seat>

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