Monaghan Councillor says he won’t contest local elections in shock announcement

Fianna Fail Councillor Padraig McNally will step away from politics next May after 34 years as a local representative. The Carrickmacross native announced his decision yesterday at the party’s selection convention, where the candidates for the 2019 local elections were to be decided. May 24th will end a 60 year consecutive representation of the McNally family at Monaghan County Council.First elected at the age of 21, Padraig McNally took over from his father, and would go on to contest 10 elections without defeat.

His announcement came as a shock, with only close family and friends knowing of his decision, which he said he didn’t make lightly, prior to the meeting. Speaking to Northern Sound News following the announcement, Councillor McNally said he will take some time away for other commitments and ruled out running for another party in the future:

What was expected to be a straightforward selection convention ended with only one candidate, Councillor PJ O’Hanlon, being chosen to contest the election, despite the party issuing a directive to select two candidates. David Funcheon and Rory McEvoy withdrew ahead of the meeting, to allow the sitting councillors to run unopposed, but following the withdrawal of Councillor McNally there were calls for both members to be ratified at a later date, and for the party to run all three candidates with representation in Carrickmacross and Castleblayney. PJ O’Hanlon now joins Emer Brennan, Raymond Aughey and Seamus Coyle as the confirmed candidates for Fianna Fail in County Monaghan. The country goes to the polls for the local and European elections at the end of May.