Four Fine Gael Oireachtas members have been selected to secure the party’s future in Galway West/South Mayo in the upcoming General Election.
Sitting Galway West Deputies Seán Kyne and Brian Walsh were confirmed as candidates at a convention attended by 350 party members in the Westwood Hotel on Sunday, along with Mayo TD John O’Mahony, who is switching constituency, and Senator Hildegarde Naughton. The selection was held without a contest.
Last time out, the party also ran four to win two seats – Kyne and Walsh, now-Independent Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, and Senator Naughton, who was eliminated on the sixth count.
After Sunday’s selection convention, Constituency Chairman, Enda Howley congratulated the four candidates. “We have the privilege of having four excellent candidates contesting this election, and the unique distinction of also having four sitting members of the Oireachtas contesting this election.
“They represent a valuable mix of youth, energy and experience, while all are highly respected across the political divide and beyond. We have an excellent geographical spread, which will help ensure this is a winning strategy for the party across the constituency.”
A look at the odds
Galway bookie John Mulholland is tipping Fine Gael Deputy Brian Walsh to retain his seat in the impending General Election, becoming the sole party representative in the Galway West/South Mayo constituency, with Deputy Seán Kyne tipped to lose the seat he won in 2011.
Fianna Fáil Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív meanwhile remains favourite to top the poll and keep his seat. Mulholland reckons the remaining seats will be filled by Independent TD Noel Grealish, Independent Cllr Catherine Connolly, and Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, whose odds have been cut from 10/11 to 8/11.
Following his declaration as a Renua candidate, Independent Cllr James Charity has seen his odds pushed out from 3/1 to 7/2.
Conversely, thanks to his involvement with the Yes Galway referendum campaign, Independent candidate Niall Ó Tuathail has seen his odds cut from 16/1 to 8/1.