At the FG selection convention in the Newbury Hotel last Friday were (from left) Gerry Heery, Jordan Cole, Peter Burke, TD, and Cllr Andrew Duncan.

Duncan sees off young FG challenger

The sitting councillor, Andrew Duncan, saw off the challenge of two other candidates at the Fine Gael convention to pick a candidate for the next local election for in the new Mullingar Municipal area, at the Newbury Hotel last Friday, February 8.

The convention was hotly contested and four candidates went forward, though John Casey from Clonmoyle pulled out at the last minute on Friday night for personal reasons. He pledged his support for Cllr Duncan.

The large crowd of members were addressed by the remaining three candidates; Cllr Andrew Duncan, Gerry Heery and Jordan Cole.

Cllr Duncan referenced his strong representation for members, the business, sporting and angling communities since he was elected in 2014. He committed to continue to work on projects with Deputy Peter Burke if he was selected again and stated he was ready to fight the campaign ahead in the new town area where he is based.

He referenced the challenges and the opportunities that lay ahead for the town and said he was prepared to put in the hard graft to keep Mullingar at the top of the agenda for the region.

Next up was newcomer Jordan Cole who gave a rousing speech as his maiden contribution to a Fine Gael convention. He referenced his links to Gainstown, Multyfarnham and his family in Mullingar, and the love he has for his town and county.

He is a young, energetic candidate with a lot to offer, and this is unlikely to be the last we hear of Jordan and local politics.

Gerry Heery spoke of his interest in following in the footsteps of his friend Peter Burke as he has seen first hand the difference that can be made through stepping up to the mark and putting yourself before the people. He spoke of his parents, who met while working in St Loman’s, and who reared 13 children in Mullingar.

Gerry spent 12 years in the US and returned home to teach in St Brigid’s School, where he says he enjoys every single day.

The members voted to select Cllr Duncan in a resounding fashion. The Fine Gael National Executive reserves the right to add additional candidates at a later date.