Clendennen and Pilkington selected at Birr Fine Gael selection convention

Clendennen and Pilkington selected at Birr Fine Gael selection convention

Pictured is Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD with Cllr John Clendennen, Marian Pilkington and Sean Kelly, MEP

Karen O'Grady

Reporter:

Karen O'Grady

Email:

news@midlandtribune.ie

Fine Gael has chosen two candidates to run in next May's local elections in the six seat Municipal District of Birr.

They are outgoing Kinnitty based councillor John Clendennen together with Birr based business woman and community activist, Marian Pilkington.

On Thursday last, a large crowd from all over the Birr Ferbane District descended on Dooly's Hotel, Birr where the selection convention was chaired by Mr Seán Kelly, MEP for Ireland South. Addressing the room, Mr Kelly informed the gathering that the directive from the party headquarters was to select two candidates with the Executive Council reserving the right to add candidates at a later date.

Addressing the convention, local TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy congratulated Cllr Clendennen and Ms Pilkington on their successful nomination. Marcella said the party was very lucky to have such capable candidates in them both and vowed to campaign tirelessly between now and May 24 to ensure that both candidate were elected to Offaly County Council.

Deputy Corcoran Kennedy reminded the delegates that for many years Percy Clendennen and Tom Enright along with Joe Cleare won three seats for Fine Gael in the Birr and indeed she and her father Bernard served with Connie Hanniffy in the former Ferbane District for decades.

Marcella said the party must ensure it wins back seats on Offaly County Council to ensure effective representation for the people of Birr and the west Offaly area.

First elected in 2014 after his father Percy stepped down, well known businessman Cllr John Clendennen has made his mark on Offaly County Council with the highlight being his role as vice-chairman in 2016.

Speaking on the night, Cllr Clendennen said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to be selected to represent my local area. And I am humbled that you, the members of Fine Gael, have put your faith in me for the past five years. I’m asking you this evening, to once again give me the opportunity to continue working for Offaly, and to continue working with the existing team of Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Cllrs Tommy McKeigue, Liam Quinn & Noel Cribbin, and hopefully a few news faces come May, having successfully contested the Local Election on Friday May 24.”

Marian Pilkington successfully spearheaded the Birr Christmas Market last December, which raised over €8000 for Birr Tidy Towns and already has plans in motion for the market next Christmas. The youngest of seven children, Marian was born and reared in Birr and is married to well know local businessman Frank Pilkington, together they have a six year son named Luke.

Speaking on the night, Marian said: “I am delighted and honoured to represent Fine Gael having been selected last Thursday night as one of their candidates along with Councillor John Clendennen for the Birr Municipal District Elections in May.

“Offaly County Council is crying out for more female engagement and this is especially important when issues are being addressed on behalf of women, young children and their families,” she enthused.

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