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Parties set to choose Meath East by-election candidates

The position became vacant following the death of Fine Gael TD Shane McEntee in December.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

BOTH FIANNA FÁIL and Sinn Féin will this evening hold official selection conventions for the forthcoming Meath East by-election. The vacancy in the constituency arose following the death of Fine Gael TD Shane McEntee in December.

A by-election must be held within six months of a position becoming vacant and a date is expected to be announced this week as parties choose their candidates.

Fianna Fáil is expected to nominate Senator Thomas Byrne, who was a TD in the constituency between 2007 and 2011. The party’s convention will be held at the Ashbourne House Hotel at 8pm with leader Micheál Martin in attendance.

Sinn Féin has already announced it will put Darren O’Rourke forward at its convention in the Headford Hotel in Kells at 7.30pm. Deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald will address the meeting. O’Rourke currently works as PA to the party’s health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

Speculation is centering on McEntee’s daughter Helen as Fine Gael’s candidate and Labour has not yet made any formal move to select one.

The Workers Party will be represented by Seamus McDonagh who ran in Meath West at the last general election and the Green Party expects to nominate Seán Ó Buachalla, who finished last in 2011, as its candidate.

Related: FF and SF to confirm candidates as Meath East by-election looms>

Read: Support for coalition faces test in Meath East by-election>

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