THE chairman of Na Piarsaigh GAA Club Timmy O’Connor has been formally selected to run for Fine Gael in next year’s local election.
A native of Broadford, Mr O’Connor has lived in the Ennis Road for the last 15 years, and lived in Caherdavin prior to this.
At a convention in the Greenhills Hotel, Mr O’Connor was picked to run in City North alongside sitting councillors Denis McCarthy and Michael Hourigan.
The new constituency covers the northside, as well as St Mary’s Park and Corbally.
Mr O’Connor was also the manager of the minor hurling side which finished runners up in the All Ireland hurling final back in 2005.
He is also seen as a close ally of Finance Minister Michael Noonan, having canvassed alongside him for 25 years, while in his day job, he works as a post office manager in Shannon.
Mr O’Connor will retire from that role in mid-January, and focus on the May election.
“I am delighted at the opportunity. I have been involved in Fine Gael for a long number of years, and am looking forward to the challenge. I have been deeply involved in youth activities for most of my life, through the GAA, so that would be my main priority. I also want to look after the local needs of my neighbours and friends, and everyone across the northside and Corbally area, and if I can be of any assistance, that would be my aim,” he said.
Mr O’Connor believes his profile will help - but it will not be enough to get him over the line in next May’s local election.
“It will be very challenging. I am looking forward to meeting people. I have been involved in my community for a number of years. As chairman of Na Piarsaigh, we would have done a lot of fundraising from door to door, so I would be well known in that capacity. But that alone won’t get me elected, I will have to work, and hopefully it will help get me across the line,” he explained, “It is a big ask, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”
He said he is expecting to be questioned on his party’s record in government, but said he will counter this by pointing out that Ireland is expected to exit the bailout by Christmas.
“The government of the day always finds it difficult in local elections. But I think the government has done a very good job. We will have our own identity again shortly, and we will be in control of our own affairs. This is down to the work of Michael Noonan as Minister for Finance,” he said.
At the selection convention, outgoing councillor Kevin Kiely was nominated by members. However, this needs to be ratified nationally. One person definitely not standing is Cllr Cormac Hurley, who is to retire from politics.