TWO well known faces will contest the local elections in Newbridge next May for the Fianna Fáil party.
On Thursday night party members gathered in the Keadeen Hotel and selected sitting councillor Robert Power and wwell known local manNoel Heavey as their candidates for the Newbridge district.
By some accounts it was a smooth transfer of ‘Power’ as sitting councillor for Newbridge and Mayor of Kildare, Seán Power did not contest the convention having previously announced that he would stand down at the end of this term.
His son, Robert, will now take up the mantle in the Newbridge area, half of which has been moved from the Naas district where he has been a councillor since 2014.
“Geographically half of my area has been moved to the Newbridge area. I will still be able to vote for myself,” said Robert.
The new district takes in Caragh, Ladytown, Kilcullen, Brannockstown and Twomilehouse formerly of the Naas local electoral area. It also includes Clongorey, Athgarvan and of course the town of Newbridge itself.
He added he was delighted to have his father at the convention and happy also not to have to stand against him.
“I’m lucky to have someone there that I trust absolutely and he’s great for giving feedback. My grandfather Paddy contested his first convention in 1967, 52 years ago, so it’s great to be able to continue with that tradition.”
A new name enters the political affray alongside Cllr Power. Newbridge man Noel Heavey secured his place in the race next May. The Clongorey man is well known for his commitment to community activities, particularly with Junefest for which he has been chairperson for the past five years. his mushroom business, as a novelist and as a singer.
He served for eleven years on the executive of Newbridge RFC, spearheading the development of its facility in Rosetown. From this connection emerged the twinning of Newbridge with Argentre-Du-Plessiss, a small town in Brittany of which Heavey was chairperson 2012-2017.
Noel Heavey taught for 15 years in St. Farnan’s Post Primary School Prosperous from which he took early retirement to go into the Mushroom business. As Managing Director of Miltonfield Ltd, he developed this to become the major supplier of mushroom products to the Irish multiple retail trade.
Married to Bernadette, a native and resident of Clongorey where they raised their family of five Nollaig, Liam, Sorcha, Aileen and Eamon.
Cllr Murty Aspell and Antoinette Buckley from Kilcullen also put their names forward. The addition of a third candidate is the decision of party headquarters and both of these candidates said they would be interested in securing this additional nomination.
TD Fiona O’Loughlin commented on the convention on Facebook. “As the late PJ Mara said- when Fianna Fáil has hotly contested conventions, the party is in robust good health.. tonight in Newbridge I am happy to report good health! She said there was every chance there would be further additions to the ticket.