4 December 2015 One Comment by The Northern Standard


FIANNA FÁIL selected its General Election 2016 candidate for the Cavan half of the constituency at a convention in Cavan’s Kilmore Hotel on Tuesday night — but remains with no representative to carry the flag in Monaghan, after it was confirmed that each of the four nominees who had initially entered the ring on the Farney side had withdrawn their names.

Sitting Cavan-based TD and former government minister Brendan Smith had a decisive victory over Bailieboro county councillor Niamh Smyth in the vote, which was open to the Cavan membership only. Cllr Smyth had been lobbying hard with party faithful in recent weeks, but in the event, 59-year-old Deputy Smith easily secured the Cavan nomination with a comfortable 3–1 margin of 603 votes to 205.

The meeting attended by upwards of 300 delegates was chaired by Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Dara Calleary, who observed that there were no spoiled votes out of the 808 ballots cast throughout the evening. “So we won’t have a row here!” the Mayo-based TD quipped.

In a speech in which she graciously accepted the outcome, Ms Smyth took one last throw of the dice, however, when she called on the party’s National Constituencies Committee to add her name to the ticket in any event.

In calling on the committee to include her as a running mate to Deputy Smith, she said that, from her two previous poll-topping results in elections, she knew she could make “a very positive and effective impact” in the upcoming general election. The party could in this way bring “a blend of experience and…


One Comment »

  • Officially declared candidates for the 2015/2016 General Election | Irish Elections: Geography, Facts and Analyses said:

    […] The Anglo Celt (22nd January 2015) has reported that Cllr. Niamh Smyth is to contest the Fianna Fail selection convention, while former Dail deputy, Margaret Conlon, is also considering her options, while Cllrs. Seamus Coyle and Robbie Gallagher have also expressed an interest in seeking the Fianna Fail nomination. The January 29th edition of The Anglo Celt notes that three people have confirmed interest in contesting the Fianna Fail selection convention – Deputy Brendan Smith and Cllrs. Smyth and Coyle. A report on the Northern Sound website (27th March 2015) noted that Brendan Smith said he would be contesting the election and that Fianna Fail would be running two candidates here, with the second to probably come from Monaghan. The Anglo Celt (29th September 2015) has reported that the call for nominations for the Fianna Fail selection convention was put out on 28th September 2015, with the call for nominations closing on 6th October 2015. At this point, the paper noted, both Deputy Brendan Smith and Cllr. Niamh Smyth had confirmed their intention to contest the convention. The Anglo Celt (6th October 2015) later noted that Cllrs. Robbie Gallagher, PJ O’Hanlon and Seamus Coyle, as well as former Dail deputy, Margaret Conlon, had also been nominated to contest the Fianna Fail selection convention. Onn 23rd November 2015, Margaret Conlon announced in a letter that she would be withdrawing from the selection contest. As reported on the Northern Sound website (22nd November 2015), this convention has now been scheduled to take place in the Hotel Kilmore in Cavan Town on 1st December 2015. The Anglo Celt (23rd November 2015) has reported that Cllr. PJ O’Hanlon has also withdrawn from the convention contest, leaving four candidates to contest the selection convention on 1st December 2015 – Cllrs. Robbie Gallagher, Niamh Smyth and Seamus Coyle and Deputy Brendan Smith. A report in the Northern Standard (27th November 2015) had suggested that the party is likely to select one Cavan-based candidate and one Monaghan-based candidate. However, Johnny Fallon subsequently reported on the Slugger O’Toole website (1st December 2015) that all the Monaghan based candidates – Coyle, Gallagher and Conlon – had withdrawn ahead of the convention taking place.  According to the Northern Sound website (1st Decmber 2015), these withdrawals mean that there will be no vote for Monaghan delegates at the December 1st selection convention, with a separate convention now to be held for Monaghan in the coming weeks. This effectively leaves Cllr. Niamh Smyth and Deputy Brendan Smith as the only two candidates left in contention at the Hotel Kilmore selection convention. Brendan Smith was selected at this convention. As noted by the Northern Standard (4th December 2015), Brendan Smith won this convention vote by a 603-205 vote margin. After the vote, Cllr. Niamh Smyth a…. […]