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'The fun is over': John Gilroy won't actually be seeking the Labour MEP nomination

Gilroy told a parliamentary party meeting that he did not feel he would have enough time between the convention and the election to run a proper campaign.

Image: John Gilroy via Facebook

SENATOR JOHN GILROY has announced today that he will not, in fact, be seeking the Labour party’s nomination for the European elections.

Last month, the senator announced he would be challenging sitting MEP Phil Prendergast for the party’s nomination in Ireland South, telling TheJournal.ie that he had been approached by a number of colleagues urging him to put his name forward.

However Gilroy told a parliamentary party meeting today that he had decided to pull out of the race. It is understood that the reason he gave was that there would not be enough time between the date of the convention – announced today to be 9 March – and the election to run a proper campaign.

A spokesperson for the Labour party said it was “regrettable” that he was not going forward but that the party would now be concentrating on getting Prendergast elected. They said the senator had discussed his decision with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore earlier today, ahead of the meeting.

Fellow Labour senator John Whelan told TheJournal.ie that he was “as surprised as anyone” by the decision, as his colleague has been “all gun ho and ready to go”.

“He seemed to be going a lot of groundwork and a lot of canvassing recently,” he said. Indeed, just yesterday, Gilroy was tweeting about his bid for the nomination.

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Senator John Kelly said he was also surprised by the announcement today because Gilroy “has put a lot of effort in the last number of weeks”.

Kelly said he was disappointed that his colleague would not be pushing ahead because he was “really looking forward to seeing if he would get the nomination”.

“I thought it would be fascinating to see would somebody get the nomination over a sitting MEP but that’s not going to happen now do the fun is over,” he added.

Senator Gilroy could not be reached for comment this evening.

Read: ‘It’s not personal’: Senator challenging Phil Prendergast for Labour MEP nomination>

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