By Margaret Gallagher
Last Sunday in the Central Hotel, Fianna Fail picked its team for the Donegal Electoral area in next years Council elections. With Tiernan Brady and Dr. Frank Curran withdrawing their names, there was no contest on the day - all five candidates left in the ring were automatically selected. These are Brendan Byrne, Carrick; Paul Coughlan, Inver; Peter Kennedy, Donegal Town; Declan McHugh, Ballyshannon and Sean McEniff, Bundoran.
The whole process was over in an hour, with rallying speeches from candidates and top table the only item on the agenda.
But in these there was plenty of verbiage to cheer the faithful. First up was Brendan Byrne, a new face from in through who promised to do his utmost to take back to Fianna Fail the seat lost there in the last election by just a few votes.
Next to the microphone was another rookie, Inver man, Paul Coughlan. But not new to the political process - Paul was raised in a household in which his late father, Clement, was both T.D. and councillor and his first cousin is Mary, Minister for Social and Family Affairs. Though visibly nervous to start, Paul soon got into his stride and showed signs of the old Coughlan fire and passion. Visions of his dad flashed in front of the attendance and were commented on.
From rookie to veteran - following Paul was Bundoran politio, Sean McEniff, who has fellow candidate Declan McHugh on his doorstep. Sean warned the Ballyshannon man that he was going to give him a hell of a run, Hes a tight boy, and got a mighty vote last time - I dont know how I am going to keep him in his pram commented Sean.
But McHugh did not flinch. When it was his turn to speak he threw down the gauntlet as to which of himself or McEniff would get the biggest first preference vote.
Last man up was local councillor Peter Kennedy who warned if Sean McEniff comes past Ballintra to canvass, well be straight back here for another convention
Pat the Cope paid tribute to outgoing councillor Sean Campbell who decided not to run for family reasons.
Minister Mary Coughlan said she understood the personal disappointment of Tiernan Brady in withdrawing his name but, she said, with one candidate ready to go out to graze and another with one foot in the grave time is on the side of the young Bundoran man.
So five candidates with a lot of work to do and hard miles to cover (especially McEniff pushing the pram) from now to June when the final tale will be told.
Fianna Fail selects candidates for council
Succesful candidates at the Fianna Fail selection Convention in the Central: Cllr. Declan McHugh, Cllr. Sean McEniff, Cllr. Peter Kennedy, Paul Coughlan, Brendan Byrne with Ministers Mary Coughlan and Pat the Cope Gallagher
All change on Fine Gael front
Joyce McMullins confirmation that he is to seek a nomination from Fine Gael to run in next years Co Council elections, seems to put paid to the chances of Colm Gallagher making a comeback. It also severely stymies the challenges of Jimmy McGroary and Julie Mundy. The Meenadreen man, a political novice, should be a shoe-in at the convention, to be held in Glenties on November 19th. But Joyce was not Fine Gaels first choice for nomination. Donegal Times has learned that Main Street auctioneer, Keith Anderson, was the first to be approached by the party but declined the offer, pleading pressure of business.
The days they are shortening, the winter is nigh,
The nights they grow longer with stars in the sky,
The moon it grows larger in the nights frosty air,
The scene is now set to display our Hallowe en fare.
At Timony News its getting all scary,
Of skeletons and vampires you should be wary,
With ghosties and ghoulies and demons and bats,
Theres witches on broomsticks who wear very tall hats.
We have costumes galore one size fits most,
Go to party as genie, pirate or ghost,
Be a princess, a bandit, a nurse or a nun,
Our imaginative outfits will ensure you have fun.
We have all that you need to fill sweetie bags,
When you are called on that night by wizened old hags,
We wish you a great Hallowe en enjoy and have fun,
Its a deadly event if you will pardon the pun!