Gorey-based Cllr Malcolm Byrne has been selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate for the Ireland South European Parliament consituency after defeating high profile Cork North Central TD Billy Kelleher at the selection convention held in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, today.
Cllr Byrne received eight more votes than Deputy Kelleher following a directive from the Fianna Fáil constituencies committee to select only one candidate.
Cllr Byrne polled 347 first preference votes at the convention; followed by Deputy Kelleher on 342, Jason Fitzgerald on 195 and Kieran Hartley on 29.
Commenting on social media, Cllr Byrne said he was “honoured and delighted to be a candidate in May’s European elections.”
Party Leader Micheál Martin said; “I very much look forward to working with Malcolm on his campaign. He is a dedicated, enthusiastic and talented candidate who I know will run a formidable campaign. If given the chance, he will represent Ireland South with immense diligence and commitment.”
A resident of The Chase at Ramsgate Village in Gorey, Cllr Byrne served three terms on the defunct Gorey Town Council and 2009-2014 on Wexford County Council before topping the poll in the new Gorey Municipal District Council and Wexford County Council in the 2014 Local Elections and he became the first Chairman of the new 34-member Council.
Cllr Byrne will now embark on intensive inter-county canvassing and will be hoping to emulate Avril Doyle, who served as a member of Wexford Borough Council, Dail Éireann and Seanad Éireann, and was a Member of European Parliament for two terms from 1999 until 2009 on the Fine Gael ticket.