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Lackagh undertaker and community activist Frank Kearney has announced he will seek the Fine Gael nomination to stand as a candidate in the upcoming local election.

Speculation had previously been rife as to who would run for the party in the Oranmore/Athenry area, following veteran Councillor Jarlath McDonagh’s decision not to seek re-election in the 2014 poll.

Mr. Kearney told a meeting of Turloughmore Fine Gael on Monday night that he had decided to pursue a nomination from the party as he felt his experience in local community projects would stand him in good stead for the position.

“If selected, I will endeavour to continue on the great work that has been carried out by Cllr Jarlath McDonagh over many years. Having been involved with young people and youth projects over many years and having lived in this area all my life, I have a perfect understanding of the needs of the vibrant surrounding communities and I welcome the challenge of representing all the people of the new Oranmore, Athenry Electoral area,” he said.

Mr. Kearney revealed that he had made the decision to run following a “large number of representations” by people of the local community. He paid tribute to Cllr McDonagh, who since his election in 1985 had brought representation at local level to new heights, he said.

“In the past, many public representatives worked at party level only, but Jarlath McDonagh became a representative for all the people and worked for all people across the party divide at all times. Whether it was promoting back to work, education or better public facilities, he has left a legacy of projects that have greatly enhanced the community that the represented for almost 30 years.”