With outgoing TD John Deasy always a racing certainty to capture one of the two nominations - he received 225 first-count votes - all the focus among the 500 delegates was on the battle for the other one.
Mr Cummins was regarded as the firm pre-convention favourite to join Mr Deasy on the ticket for the next general election, as he did in 2002, but in the end the spoils went to Waterford city councillor Jim Darcy. He headed Portlaw-based county councillor Paudie Coffey on the second count following the distribution of Mr Deasy’s surplus.
For Mr Cummins, there was the added personal disappointment of trailing in fourth among four on the first count with just 70 votes, behind Mr Coffey (104) and Mr Darcy (101). Mr Cummins has twice experienced the disappointment of defeat in general elections, but his victory in the Senate election almost four years ago seemed to ideally position him for a third, and possibly successful, shot at landing a Dáil seat.
Jim Darcy was elected to Waterford City Council for the first time, and at the first time of asking, in 2004 and has quickly built up a high personal profile. With the party hell bent on winning a second seat in the constituency for the first time in a generation, he is seen within FG ranks as having a decent chance of doing so.