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Longford seeks legal advice over Gallagher, as Doyle joins crowded FG race

Longford County Council seeks advice on whether last night’s meeting validly nominated Sean Gallagher’s presidential bid.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

LONGFORD COUNTY COUNCIL is to seek legal advice over disagreements on whether it has actually voted to nominate Seán Gallagher as a candidate for this autumn’s presidential election.

The businessman and Dragons’ Den investor had addressed the meeting last night hoping to win its backing, and later declared on Twitter that the council had voted to nominate him as a candidate in October’s ballot.

But Fine Gael members of the council later claimed no vote had actually been taken on the proposal – saying that the council’s 19 members had voted only on an FG amendment, and not on the motion proper.

Council chairman Paul Connell, an independent councillor, had sided with Fianna Fáil members in declaring that the Council had backed Gallagher by ten votes to nine.

Fine Gael argued that while their proposed amendment had been beaten by the same margin, no vote on the motion itself had been taken.

A spokesman for Longford County Council told RTÉ News that irrespective of whether the council voted to endorse Gallagher or not, it could not legally nominate any candidates until the election was officially called.

Elsewhere, the two-term former MEP for Leinster, Avril Doyle, has announced that she is to seek the Fine Gael nomination for October’s election.

Confirming weekend rumours that Doyle would join an already crowded field, the Irish Times quotes Doyle as saying she would be the best candidate to “credibly represent” both the urban and rural sides of Ireland.

All four of the candidates seeking the Fine Gael nomination – Doyle, Mairead McGuinness, Pat Cox and Gay Mitchell – are either current or former MEPs, though Cox did not represent Fine Gael in that capacity.

TheJournal.ie‘s full coverage of the Race for the Áras >

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Gavan Reilly

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