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Máire Hoctor Fianna Fáil’s Choice In North Tipperary

Máire Hoctor

Former Fianna Fáil Minister of State Máire Hoctor, last night came through a major threat to her political future, when she survived a strong challenge, at her local selection convention.

While some observers had predicted defeat for the sitting TD,  prior to the selection convention, with her main stumbling block seen as County Councillor Micheal Smith (jnr), latter the son of former Cabinet Minister Michael Smith.

Fianna Fáil had already decided to run just one candidate in the constituency for the general election and successfully outmanoeuvred Micheal Smith by a total of 176 votes to 131 at the convention, which was held here in the Ragg, Inch, Thurles

Councillor John Hogan, also a candidate, informed the convention of his intention to withdraw from the race, at the outset of  the delegate meeting. This move caused some surprise, as previously he had came close to defeating Máire Hoctor for a nomination, prior to the 2007 general election convention. However, rumours of dirty tricks in the race for power, within FF’s party grass roots, are believed to have been responsible for the ‘straight talking’ Councillor Hogan’s decision to withdraw his nomination. Untrue representation made to local newspapers in the North Tipperary/South Offaly constituency, prior to the election convention, which claimed that Councillor Hogan had indicated that he no longer wished to be considered by Fianna Fáil’s delegates, may have lead to his decision to withdraw.

While many of the FF grass roots would have welcomed a change in candidates, many delegates felt, that a change at this time might have given considerable advantage to Labour MEP Alan Kelly, who will now run as a candidate in the constituency and who is understood by many to fancy himself greatly as a possible future leader of the Irish Labour Party.

Following the Convention M/S Hoctor stated that Fianna Fáil members must now inform the constituency that both Labour and Fine Gael “are not ready for Government and that Fianna Fáil have not gone away or died.

Máire Hoctor became a TD first in 2002 when she successfully ran, joining Michael Smith (Snr) on the FF ticket. She served as Minister of State for older people, but was sacked in March 2009, when Brian Cowen reduced the number of junior ministries. She is one of the earliest FF critic of Brian Cowen’s performance, accusing  the Taoiseach last year of failing to communicate with her. Indeed M/S Hoctor grew increasingly unset with the way in which Michael Lowry TD was being allowed to wheel and deal with her party leader and was able to claim credit, in advance, for a series of capital projects in Ms Hoctor’s own constituency area, before she was even aware of any progress being made.

A contingent of ‘die hard’ FF party supporters, packed into the venue for last night’s selection event, with some 306 members entitled to vote. In the past Fianna Fáil has held two out of three seats in Tipperary North, with Mr Smith (Snr) losing his seat in the 2007 election.

Last night was councillor Michael Smith ( jnr) first attempt at an election nomination, while John Hogan, a county councillor for 11 years, had unsuccessfully sought a Dáil nomination in 2007.

With strong rumours of several previously strong businesses about to announce their intentions to close, within the town of Thurles in the coming weeks, Fianna Fáil support in the area is expected to be even further minimized come election time.

Many disillusioned local voters claim that there is now no real great leadership choice for them in the North Tipperary/South Offaly constituency and there is no one new who is prepared to come forward in time to challenge a seat in the next General Election.

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2 comments to Máire Hoctor Fianna Fáil’s Choice In North Tipperary

  • James Shortall

    I believe we can trust in Maire Hoctor to prove the critics wrong and work with the people of north tipp / south offaly as she has done for many years . As was said in the post ” She is one of the earliest FF critic of Brian Cowen’s performance, accusing the Taoiseach last year of failing to communicate with her. Indeed M/S Hoctor grew increasingly unset with the way in which Michael Lowry TD was being allowed to wheel and deal with her party leader and was able to claim credit, in advance, for a series of capital projects in Ms Hoctor’s own constituency area, before she was even aware of any progress being made.” she is part of the new F.F. party and she will prove herself as she always has.

  • Hi James,
    I am delighted to hear that M/S Hoctor has at least one supporter.
    However do ask M/S Hoctor next time you see her, the following questions.
    (1)Is St Mary’s Famine Museum open or closed in Thurles?
    (2)Did she or her political party intervene, assist or contact the museum, to find out why it was closed last year and how she could save the loss, to Thurles, of 20,000 overseas visitors to the Town?
    (3)Did she intervene when anonymous hand written letters were forwarded to Bord Failte and Shannon Development and published in the Tipperary Star, under the guise of being sent by a visiting American tourist, when in fact they were sent by the President of an outfit here in Thurles, supported by Thurles Town Council, which claimed that drugs were being sold openly in St Mary’s Church grounds?
    (4)Did she assist when police failed to carry out their sworn duty as officers of the law with regards to €70,000 of malicious damage to the C of I church in Thurles?

    Answer to all questions I can confirm is ‘No’,despite massive local newspaper coverage. Tell her from me, stop worrying about Mr Lowry, most of what he promised never arrived (check this site under Politics) and he only announcing what was heading this way courtesy of the Cabinet table, a table to which he was not recently been privileged to sit at. We do not want gombeen politicians announcing, we want politicians proclaiming their own personal achievements for Thurles. County Councils will tar roads if we never had public representatives once someone shares funding with them.

    I cannot speak for all the very many voluntary members and supporters involved in the Thurles Museum project over a period of ten years, however my feeling is that very few votes will be heading her way from them. Were it not for her poster we would not know what she looks like, sad to say. She may take comfort however in the knowledge that her party supporter Mr M Lowry & God’s gift to the unemployed labouring masses Mr A Kelly MEP treated the Museum project with similar distain and contempt.(No big political donations you understand.) I should acknowledge however, that both Noel Coonan and his wife did investigate and contribute their assistance. So my loyalty is therefore no secret.(Voters are inclined to come back to haunt politicians at election time, don’t you find.)

    However I do thank you for your comment and on behalf of M/S Hoctor may I thank you for the sentiments you expressed.

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