The Labour Party last night announced its intention to run 41-year-old Norma Thomson, sister of TD Michael McCarthy.
The party was thrown into turmoil after sitting councillor Brendan Leahy suddenly announced that he wasn’t going to seek re-election, even though he had earlier declared himself as a candidate.
Mr McCarthy said his sister would be an ideal candidate and was very experienced in local issues as she had been his constituency secretarial assistant for the past three years.
“She is dealing with constituency work five days a week and would be a candidate in her own right. Anyway it would be up to the people to decide if they want to elect her to Cork County Council,” he said.
The married mother- of-one spent a few years working in the hotel industry in London and Spain before returning to her native Dunmanway just prior to the last general election.
“A lot of TDs and senators have relatives who became public representatives because they became immersed in politics. Norma runs a very effective constituency office and I believe would be an effective councillor,” the TD said.
The number of council seats in the West Cork area is to be reduced from 12 to eight, which will make it tough for candidates.
But Labour sources believe there is a seat there for them, even if the polls might not be favourable to them at the moment.
Meanwhile, a search is on within Fine Gael ranks to find a replacement for Phil Leahy who died last weekend.
The Ballyhooly man was considered a safe bet to win a seat for the party in the Fermoy electoral area.
It is understood that pressure is mounting on Cllr Tom Sheahan to run in his place. Mr Sheahan had signalled his intention not to seek re-election, but sources say running a first- time candidate is not a realistic option.
Instead they hope Mr Sheahan will reconsider.