Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Innovation Batt O’Keeffe has quashed rumours that he will not be standing in the forthcoming General Election.
There had been some speculation in his Cork North West constituency that the 65-year-old Fianna Fáil minister would not stand for re-election.
However, he said this morning that there was absolutely no question that he wouldn’t run.
He is likely to share the Fianna Fáil ticket with his party colleague, Micheal Moynihan, who confirmed this morning that he would also be standing for re-election in the competitive three-seat constituency.
Fine Gael is hoping to claim one of the two Fianna Fáil seats after a poll revealed that the Government party is likely to lose a seat in the constituency.
The last time Fine Gael won two seats in Cork North West was in 1992 and it will be hoping to replicate that success by running either two or three candidates on the ticket.
Deputy Michael Creed is the party’s sole TD in Cork North West.
Ballincollig-based county councillor and former County Mayor Derry Canty said he would be putting his name forward at convention.
Newmarket-based Gerard Murphy, who contested the 2007 election for Fine Gael in the north of the constituency, has already withdrawn his name from the race.
Banteer native, Áine Collins, who runs a financial services company in Millstreet, is the frontrunner to win the party’s nomination for a candidate in the north of the constituency. A Fine Gael insider said that she would offer voters a fresh perspective.
The Labour party has already selected Macroom town councillor and mayor Martin Coughlan as its candidate for the General Election.