WEST Limerick county councillor Patrick O'Donovan has been nominated to stand for Fine Gael in the new County Limerick constituency in the next general election, after pulling off an upset victory in the party's selection convention in Adare on Sunday.
Delegates had been expected to choose a candidate from East Limerick to stand alongside Rathkeale-based Deputy Dan Neville, with Bruff's Cllr Bill O'Donnell - a member of the O'Donnell clan which includes former Minister Tom O'Donnell and sitting TD Kieran O'Donnell - considered the likely winner.
However Cllr O'Donovan, who is based in Newcastle West, edged a tight vote at the Dunraven Arms Hotel after a stirring speech which swayed a crucial number of delegates to switch their support to him.
The result has sent shockwaves through the party, who had been expected to choose a broad geographical spread of candidates.
They now face a battle to keep voters in East and South Limerick from backing Labour's Kilmallock-based candidate, Cllr James Heffernan, or Fianna Fail's deputies Niall Collins and John Cregan.
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