A political comeback by former Westmeath councillor and TD Kevin Boxer Moran could be in difficulty today following a statement from the Fianna Fail members of Westmeath council.
The former OPW Minister had confirmed on Friday that his name had been put forward by his son to fill the Independent seat he had resigned.
Jamie Moran who was elected to the council in 2019 resigned his seat last week citing new work commitments.
Kevin Boxer Moran says he has received the support of Fine Gael and some other members on the council, but believes that Fianna Fail may not be willing to do the same.
A statement issued from Fianna Fail today following a meeting at the weekend says it's their understanding that a number of people are interested in the position, and they haven't reached any decision on who they will support as yet.
Speaking on Let's Talk this afternoon, Kevin Boxer Moran says if he doesn't get the support to take the vacant seat it won't put him off running in future elections.
See full statement from Fianna Fail group on Westmeath council below:
"The nine Fianna Fail Councillors had a preliminary meeting over the weekend to discuss the vacancy created by the sudden resignation of Jamie Moran from Westmeath County Council late last week.
It is our understanding that a number of people are interested in the position. We have not reached any decisions at this time but we are determined to ensure that this process is open, fair, fully transparent and democratic.
We have no doubt that whoever the new Councillor will be on the 24th of January, he or she will be afforded every cooperation and support possible both from the sitting Councillors and the staff of Westmeath County Council to ensure a professional and efficient transition."
Former Sinn Fein councillor Paul Hogan has also issued a statement this afternoon saying he intends to contest the vacancy on the council.
He says he believes he has a legitimate claim to contest as he served as an Independent during part of his last term on the local authority, and had finished close behind Jamie Moran in the local elections of 2019.
See full statement Paul Hogan:
“It is my intention to contest the vacancy caused by the unexpected resignation of Jamie Moran from Westmeath County Council. I wish Jamie well in his future endeavours.
I believe I have a legitimate claim to contest this vacancy, as I served as an Independent councillor on Westmeath County Council in the last term. I stood as an Independent in the last Local Elections (2019) on the same independent team as Jamie Moran and Michael O’Brien. Of the six Independent candidates who stood in the last election, I finished 2nd behind Jamie, and after my elimination, my transfers played a significant role in electing Jamie as a Councillor. Therefore, I have a legitimate claim to be the natural successor to fill this vacancy.
I am also contesting this vacancy in the interest of fairness, transparency and democracy. It is an important democratic principle that votes should be held to ensure accountability and transparency.
It is also important that a strong Independent is returned to Westmeath County Council, whomever that may be.
If elected, I look forward to working with all Members of Westmeath County Council for the betterment of the people the Council serves.
I will proceed by contacting the Members of Westmeath County Council to seek their support for my nomination, in accordance with the legislation and the Standing Orders”.