The race for places on Longford council is gaining momentum in recent weeks with a total of 35 candidates so far declaring for the 18 seats on offer in the local authority.
New faces actually appeared on the local authority in Longford over the past couple of years, without any actual election taking place at all.
Fianna Fails Padraig Loughrey announced in October 2017 that he was stepping down and he was replaced by Joe Flaherty, while Fine Gaels John Duffy took a similar decision in February of last year, and Gerry Hagan came onto the council to replace him.
Boundary changes announced since the last council election means that Longford MD now is a seven seater and there are 14 candidates declared there so far.
They are existing councillors Seamus Butler,and Joe Flaherty for FF who are joined by Martin Monaghan and Uruemu Adejinmi.
Fine Gael councillors Peggy Nolan, John Browne and Gerry Hagan will be hoping to keep their seats and they’ll be joined by Gerry Cooney from Newtownforbes.
Councillors Gerry Warnock and Mae Sexton will be flying the independence flag in Longford once again this May, and this time they’ll have the company of Julia O’ Reilly and Tony Reilly.
Barbara Smith for People Before Profit and Tina Keon for SF have also said they’ll be running again in this year’s local elections.
The Granard area has lost a seat with the boundary changes and eleven candidates have so far declared for the five seats on offer.
PJ Reilly is the only FF councillor looking to be returned here, with Martin Mulleady and Louie McEntire both announcing their retirements in the last number of months.
Well known Longford disability and mental health advocate Victor Connell will be running for FF this time, accompanied by Joe Murphy and Amanda Duffy.
General election candidate Micheal Carrigy, and councillor Padraig Brady will hope to retain their seats in the Granard area as well and former councillor Frank Kilbride and Gary Murtagh also campaign for FG here.
Sinn Fein has chosen Mark Maguire to contest the Granard MD and Grace Kearney and Turlough Mc Govern both declaring as Independents.
The Ballymahon area retains its six seats and here all six existing councillors will be hoping to be returned.
These include Mick Cahill and Pat O’ Toole for FF and they’re joined by John Kenny from Newtowncashel and Bridget Duffy from Edgeworthstown.
Fine Gael councillors Paul Ross, Colm Murray and Ger Farrell represent the party again, and councillor Mark Casey will run again on an independent ticket.
The other Ballymahon candidates declared so far are Geraldine Ryan Devlin for Sinn Fein and Tony Moran from Kenagh as an independent.