OUTGOING Castlebar Fine Gael Councillor Henry Kenny has announced he will not be seeking re-election to Mayo County Council next May.
The long-serving Ballyvary-based representative informed the party of his decision last night as plans are being made for next year's local election.
It does not come as a huge surprise but creates a big void for the party to fill.
He has been a member of the council since 1998 when he was co-opted to replace his brother, Enda, following the Castlebar TD's appointment to a government ministerial position. He was subsequently elected in the 1999 local elections and served in office since then.
The development places renewed pressure on Castlebar general election candidate, Alan Dillon, to contest the local elections.
But it is understood the former Mayo GAA star will be supporting the nomination of former town councillor, Ger Deere, ahead of the selection convention on February 10.
Other names already put forward to convention are outgoing Councillor Cyril Burke, former councillor Eugene McCormack and Darren McCormack.
The organisation in the county town is also in talks with a view to fielding a female candidate.
The closing date for nominations is the end of January.