*Mayor of the Ennis MD, Cllr Pat Daly (FF) and Cllr Tom O’Callaghan (FF) are both nominated. Photograph: Tom Micks

FIANNA FÁIL will select its candidates its local elections in the Ennis Municipal District on Monday night for next year’s local elections.

Party members will convene in Hotel Woodstock on Monday evening to cast their vote to determine who will be on the ballot paper for Fianna Fáil as it bids to retain the three seats it won within the Ennis Municipal District in 2019.

Sitting trio, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF), Cllr Pat Daly (FF) and Cllr Tom O’Callaghan have been nominated alongside Antoinette Baker Bashua and Amanda Major.

The Clare Echo understands that three candidates will be put forward.

For the 2019 local elections, Fianna Fáil ran three candidates in the Ennis MD with the county’s youngest candidate Mark Nestor their top performer. The Cloughleigh man was the second candidate elected after poll-topper, Cllr Mary Howard (FG). Nestor has since left politics to join the priesthood with Cllr O’Callaghan co-opted to the local authority as a result.

In 2014 when the Ennis MD had the longest ballot paper in the country, Fianna Fáil had five candidates with Tom McNamara, Pat Daly and Clare Colleran Molloy elected while Bernard Hanrahan and Brian Meaney were unsuccessful.

That 2014 election was Quin native Colleran Molloy’s first entry into politics and memorably just three votes separated her and Ger O’Halloran (FG) from the final seat. She has since gone on to serve as Mayor of Ennis on two occasions and had a brief stint as Mayor of Clare following Cathal Crowe’s election to the Dáil in February 2020 until she was succeeded by Cllr Howard in June 2020.

Within the Ennis MD, Cllr Daly is the longest serving of the councillors following his election to the local authority in 1999. Born on Parnell St but now living in Gallows Hill, Pat is a former parliamentary assistant to ex Clare TD, Tony Killeen (FF), Daly was elected Mayor of Clare in 2012. He was the last of the Ennis MD councillors elected on the tenth and final count in 2019. He is currently the Mayor of the Ennis MD.

Of the 28 county councillors, Tom O’Callaghan is the most recent addition following his co-option to the County Council in December. Since then, he has clashed with his party colleague Cllr Colleran Molloy and Cllr Howard particularly regarding the Ennis 2040 Strategy and the General Municipal Allocation. The Kildysart native is Chairman of the Independent Postmasters Group.

O’Callaghan fought off competition from publican Darragh McAllister, former councillor Hanrahan and Amanda Major to get the nomination last year and he will be renewing rivalries with Ms Major once again.

Living in Co Clare since 2007, Amanda contested the 2019 local elections as an Independent candidate before joining Fianna Fáil last year. She is aspiring to become the first Nigerian candidate elected to Clare County Council. She became an Irish citizen in 2015 and has previously lived in Monaghan, Scariff and Shannon before settling in Ennis.

Antoinette Bashua Baker completes the list of nominations. The Ennis woman lives in Cloughleigh with her husband Museliu a local soccer referee and their two sons. She is a a cancer survivor and is very involved in the Nigerian community and traces her Fianna Fáil roots back to her grandfather John who was a proud Charles Haughey supporter. A first cousin of All-Ireland winner, Ollie Baker, Antoinette has worked as a special needs assistant at St Anne’s SS in Ennis for over two decades.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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