*Michael Shannon.

MICHAEL SHANNON has confirmed he will be allowing his name forward as a potential Fianna Fáil candidate in West Clare for the local elections.

On Sunday, Michael was one of three candidate vying to get the nod to be co-opted to Clare County Council following the retirement of Cllr Bill Chambers (FF).

In what was a tight contest, Michael polled 31 votes compared to Rita McInerney’s 38 and 10 for Martin Dooley. More transfers from Dooley went to Michael than Rita but it was insufficient to overtake the Doonbeg woman who will be formally ratified as a county councillor in January.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Michael confirmed he will be seeking the party’s nomination when they hold a selection convention in the Kilrush electoral area to decide their candidates for the local elections. “I have re-established myself after today, I will be putting my name forward for the Convention after Christmas, I’ll reflect on it over the Christmas with my family but after today’s result I’m satisfied. I thank all my supporters and the people who proposed me, we’re a good, fair organisation with fair and humble people”.

Living in Ballymackea, Annagh within the parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane, Michael had supporters from a number of demographics including the youngest members of Fianna Fáil in West Clare.

He said of the outcome, “I am encouraged. When I started maybe I was little-known but I was known to the Fianna Fáil delegates here, I ran twenty years ago and I signed the party pledge twenty years ago, I was a very young boy at the time. I got through the convention and onto the ballot, getting over 650 votes in 2004. When you sign the pledge you are a party member and when I signed it twenty years ago I remained a party member, it is a lifetime pledge as far as I am concerned”.

A clerical officer with Aer Lingus based in Shannon, Michael is of the belief that the amount of medical devices companies in the country has created potential opportunities for West Clare. “We deal a lot with the medical devices companies like Boston Scientific, we do the paperwork and customs for all the freight, in dealing with those companies we see the diversity throughout Ireland, medical devices companies are very prominent here, I also know that these companies have sterilisation sectors that could be opened in West Clare, there is a shortage of sterilisation sectors throughout Europe, with the supply of energy we have in West Clare there could be opportunities for those if there was incentives made”.

In 2004, he contested the local elections as one of five Fianna Fáil candidates in the Kilrush electoral area. He polled 612 first preference votes and was the third candidate eliminated. On that occasion, the first candidate eliminated was a Green Party candidate called Cillian Murphy who in 2019 was elected as a Fianna Fáil councillor.

A total of 132 transfers from Michael went to Cllr Chambers during that 2004 election. The decision of the Cooraclare man to retire is what enticed Shannon back to electoral politics for the first time in nearly two decades. “The retirement of Bill Chambers opened up a new opportunity for me to explore running in the 2024 local elections, my area has increased because of the boundary changes bringing in Annagh and Fermoyle plus Kilmaley into the electoral area.

“It was now or never, age is moving on and time flies, I’ve been a director of elections for the party in the West Clare area, I know the delegates well and they know me, I’ve a good establishment within the party structures but I’m very proud of our party because for the last three weeks I went around and canvassed people, I went and talked to them over cups of tea and biscuits. There was nearly 80 people here between young and old, barristers, solicitors, farmers, pensioners, teachers from across the board, they had their say, we had a great selection of candidates with myself, Martin Dooley an educated man and Rita being successful a female candidate so there was great variety on the ballot which was encouraging for the Fianna Fáil organisation to progress, a lot of other parties don’t have this selection convention, a name is sent down from the top and they might not be living in the area. I’m very proud of that and our vote today and of Rita who did very well”.

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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.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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