McEntee's daughter to contest byelection for FG


Fine Gael has selected 26-year-old Helen McEntee to contest the byelection in Meath East on March 27th to fill the Dáil vacancy created by the death of her father Shane. Ms McEntee was selected at a convention in the Headford Arms Hotel in Kells last night.

She said she was “delighted” to be chosen. “I want to continue his good work by dealing with the issues that matter most to the people of Meath East.

“I could never hope to fill my father’s shoes. But I can promise to work just as hard as he did. He was an incredible man with a passionate determination to serve his community,” said Ms McEntee.

She said that for the past 2½ years she had been working with her father to help address the challenges facing people in Meath East and would continue this work with the same level of commitment and determination if elected to Dáil Éireann.

“I’ll be kick-starting my campaign first thing in the morning and I can’t wait to get it under way,” she said.

Her director of elections, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald, said the entire Fine Gael organisation, including Young Fine Gael, councillors, senators, TDs and Ministers, would be involved in campaigning for a No 1 vote for her.

The candidate lives at the family home in Castletown, Co Meath, with her mother Kathleen and her siblings Vincent and Sally. After school in Meath she did a degree in economics, politics and law and later completed a master’s in journalism and media communications.

She began working with her father in 2010. Then an opposition Fine Gael TD, he was later appointed minister of state at the Department of Agriculture.

The Fianna Fáil candidate in the byelection is Senator Thomas Byrne, a former TD who was elected in 2007 but lost his seat in February 2011.

The Sinn Féin candidate is Darren O’Rourke who works for party health spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin at the Oireachtas. The Labour Party has not yet selected a candidate.