Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Deputy Michelle Mulherin

Taoiseach lifts media embargo at mayo fg convention

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny was the toast of the national and local media last night (Monday) when he lifted his party’s embargo on coverage of the Mayo Fine Gael candidate selection convention at the McWilliam Hotel in Claremorris.

Minutes prior to the convention getting underway, the party leader was approached by The Connaught Telegraph for an explanation why the press was being excluded from the event.

Deputy Kenny was unaware that such a directive was in place and immediately made arrangements for members of the national and local media to be accommodated inside.

During the course of his address, he said he was delighted to have the press in attendance, adding: 'Fine Gael has nothing to hide and our general election strategy is not a secret at this stage.'

He stated the electorate had a clear choice next spring. 'Stability, growth and jobs under a Fine Gael-led government or uncertainly by voting for a different form of government. It’s a simply choice,' he elaborated.

An Taoiseach was nominated by Ballyhaunis Councillor John Cribbin who described him as ‘the saviour of Ireland’s economy and international reputation’. Deputy Kenny’s seconder was former Castlebar town councillor Noreen Heston, who also referred to his ‘patriotism’.

Minister of State Michael Ring was in subdued form due to a chest infection but vowed to work tirelessly to ensure three seats are secured in the new four-seat Mayo constituency.

He was proposed by Councillor Tereasa McGuire, who compared the TD’s energy to the Duracell bunny! Councillor Gerry Coyle, who seconded the nomination of Deputy Ring, was in equally humorous mood and had delegates in stitches with his unique take on national and international politics.

Deputy Michelle Mulherin, the third candidate selected, was nominated by retired MEP Jim Higgins and seconded by Edel Cadden of the Crossmolina FG Branch. Ms. Cadden said Deputy Mulherin faced the toughest challenge of the three nominees and ‘the party needed to rally around and give her the support she deserved’.

The convention, which was chaired by Deputy Sean Kyne, heard glowing tributes to Deputy John O’Mahony who is contesting the general election in the Galway West constituency, which now covers a significant area of south Mayo.

In his address, Deputy O’Mahony said the four-strong FG team elected in Mayo in 2011 had worked very well together and he believed the county is in a much better place than it had been a decade ago.  

Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness also addressed the attendance of over 350.