Labour in bold two-seat strategy

THE Labour Party has decided to run two candidates in Waterford for the first time in 42 years, despite the imminent retirement of one of its most experienced TDs.

Following the recent decision by Brian O’Shea to retire from the Dáil at the forthcoming general election, Labour made the decision to run a candidate at either end of the county.

The party organisation was last night expected to ratify the candidacies of two local councillors — Dungarvan-based Ciara Conway and Seamus Ryan of Waterford City Council.

Labour has traditionally returned a TD from the four-seat Waterford constituency and optimistic noises from within the party suggested earlier this year they could win two seats if poll ratings held out.

However, the retirement of Mr O’Shea removes a high-profile politician from the ticket and both Ms Conway and Mr Ryan have work to do to raise their image outside of their respective local areas.

Also running in Waterford are sitting Fine Gael TD John Deasy and running-mate Senator Paudie Coffey, Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane and well-known independent John Halligan.

Fianna Fáil have yet to even decide how many candidates they will run, but a selection convention will be held shortly.

The party is given no chance of holding the seat vacated last year by retired minister Martin Cullen, while sitting TD Brendan Kenneally is expected to be joined at the selection convention by candidates Cllr Pat Daly and former TD Ollie Wilkinson.

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