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Fianna Fáil is running Mary O'Rourke's son in the Longford-Westmeath by-election

Aengus O’Rourke will run for the party in the by-election caused by the death of Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden.
Apr 30th 2014, 10:30 AM 9,297 78

FIANNA FAÍL HAS selected Aengus O’Rourke, the son of former minister Mary O’Rourke, to contest the Longford-Westmeath by-election next month.

O’Rourke, an Athlone-based councillor, was selected by party members last night and is believed to have been favoured by headquarters who insisted that the candidate must come from the Athlone electoral branch.

Several other councillors in the area had indicated their intention to seek the nomination but O’Rourke was uncontested following a number of withdrawals.

He will now seek to win back a second Fianna Fáil seat in the constituency after his mother lost her Dáil seat in the 2011 general election and retired from politics. The party already has its children’s spokesperson Robert Troy in the constituency.

The by-election, the writ for which is expected to be moved in the Dáil today, arises following the death of Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden.

Her sister Gabrielle McFadden is expected get the Fine Gael nomination and will be heavily favoured to win the seat.

Labour could run local councillor Denis Leonard while Sinn Féin will run Paul Hogan.

Among the possible independent candidates, local councillor Kevin Moran is being strongly tipped to run having picked up over 6 per cent of first preference votes in 2011.

Read more: Here’s why most political parties aren’t ready for the two by-elections happening next month

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Hugh O'Connell

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