Fianna Fail’s Galbally councillor Eddie Ryan
LIMERICK councillor Eddie Ryan has confirmed he will seek the Fianna Fail nomination to run in the general election alongside Niall Collins.
With Fianna Fail set to hold its selection convention for the next Dail count early in the New Year, Cllr Ryan, Galbally, believes he can help the Soldiers of Destiny win back its traditional second seat in the rural constituency.
“Yes I will be putting my name forward for Fianna Fail for the Dail come the next election,” he said when contacted by this newspaper.
“I believe I will bring a lot to the table. I got the highest vote in the 2009 and 2014 local election, and this has to stand for something.”
A senior Fianna Fail source has also confirmed the party’s top brass have already been in contact with the councillor – a farmer by profession – with a view to have him contesting the selection convention.
It comes after last year, the party leader, Micheal Martin told the Limerick Leader his party would pursue a two-candidate strategy in both local constituencies after Mr Collins and Willie O’Dea were elected with huge surpluses.
Prior to the last Dail election, Cllr Ryan criticised his own party hierarchy after it decided to run just one candidate, a situation he described as “flawed” and “very weak”.
It’s understood the comments caused tensions within Fianna Fail locally.
This week, the outspoken councillor has called on his party leader Mr Martin to carry out a “radical shake-up” of his front-bench.
”My own personal view is that Fianna Fail needs to up its game a small bit. We havr a lot of people saying little or nothing. Look at the state of the country. When Fianna Fail were last in government, there were 21,000 people on the waiting list for procedures. Today, it’s almost 700,000.
"We have 90,000 on the housing waiting list, 8.,000 homeless including 3,000 children. But we have ministers in government going through unchallenged,” he said.
Elected in 2009 at the third time of asking in the old Kilmallock area, Cllr Ryan secured 1,840 votes when the wind was against Fianna Fail. In 2014, in the redrawn Cappamore-Kilmallock area, he secured 2,178 first preferences.