Siblings to contest council elections
on 11/09/2013 00:00:00
The Kerry Fianna Fáil conventions for the May 2014 local elections are being held in the coming weeks. There had been intense speculation that Mr McEllistrim would seek a nomination there and that his sister Anne - who replaced him on Kerry County Council in 2004 following the ending of the dual mandate - would stay in the Tralee area.
However, Mr McEllistrim said yesterday that the new local electoral areas in Kerry meant both he and his sister had strong support in either area. He had won his first seat as a councillor in the Tralee area. From a party point of view, Anne's move to Killarney would help right the gender balance there also, he said.
Neither Killarney town council nor the Killarney electoral area on Kerry County Council have a female representative.
The new Tralee area meant he had strong support from his time as a TD.
"A lot of new areas have now been added from west Kerry and from the Listowel area and around Ardfert to the new Tralee area and I would have represented them when I was a TD."
His sister lived on the Killarney-Tralee boundary and had taught as well as worked as a tour guide in Killarney. Her husband had strong connections there. Much of her area had been removed from Tralee to Killarney, he said.
People had approached the family saying they would no longer be able to vote for them under the new boundaries and this was a factor too in the decision, Mr McEllistrim said.
"Since the foundation of the State, McEllistrims have contested all elections in Kerry," he said.
He and his sister were the fourth generation to be public representatives - his great grand father and name sake was elected to the local Board of Guardians as a Republican member at the end of the nineteenth century.
His grandfather was elected as a Sinn Féin TD in 1923.