REPRESENTATIVES of the 17 Fine Gael branches in the Castlebar District have tonight selected three candidates to run in next May's local elections in the redrawn seven-seat electoral area.
They are outgoing Councillor Cyril Burke, Ger Deere and Eugene McCormack.
Councillor Burke, who resides in Ballyglass, has been an elected member of Mayo County Council since 2003.
Ger Deere, a former member and chairman of Castlebar Town Council from Snugboro, will be contesting his first county council elections.
Eugene McCormack, a native of Islandeady, is also a former member and chairman of the town council. He served on the county council from 2009 to 2014.
Two other nominees, Darren McCormack and Padraig Corcoran, were unsuccessful while Noreen Heston withdrew her nomination ahead of the convention.
Outgoing Councillor Henry Kenny is not going forward for re-election. Many tributes were paid to him by the nominees during their speeches.
The message rang out loud and clear from the convention, attended by former Taoiseach Ena Kenny, that the organisation is determined to increase its representation in the Castlebar Municipal District from two to three seats.
It had been widely expected the four candidates would be chosen as part of that strategy. But the three-candidate directive has given party HQ the option of adding a female candidate if the opportunity arises.
The two-year rule was in operation for the ballot. As a result, 86 members who held membership last year but did not do so in 2017 were ineligible to vote.
A total of 279 members were eligible and 211 cast their votes at the convention chaired by Galway Councillor Padraig Conneely.
It is understood the votes received by the selected candidates were Burke (94), McCormack (44) and Deere (34). The quota was 52..