Coveney agrees to stand in next general election


THE Minister of State for Finance, Mr Hugh Coveney, will be added to the election ticket to contest the Cork South Central constituency for Fine Gael in this year's general election.

Immediately after Mr Coveney's failure to secure the nomination at his constituency convention on December 5th, the Taoiseach, Mr Bruton, asked him to allow his name to be added.

But the former Cabinet Minister asked for time to consider his position during Christmas and yesterday confirmed his candidacy could go ahead. His name will be formally ratified at Saturday's meeting of the national executive.

It is understood Mr Bruton will not attend the gathering but will officially nominate Mr Coveney.

The Cork South Central convention last month nominated Ms Deirdre Clune, daughter of the former Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Peter Barry, and Cllr Sylvester Cotter to contest the seat.

Mr Coveney was elected to the five seat constituency after Mr Pat Cox resigned his Dail seat to become an MEP. He was elevated to Cabinet as Minister for Defence and the Marine when Fine Gael entered the rainbow coalition two years ago but was demoted from Cabinet, to the junior ministerial ranks, after it emerged he had made representations on behalf of his family firm about a Bord Gais contract.

Meanwhile, the former Taoiseach, Mr Albeit Reynolds, met constituency colleagues in Longford last night to confirm his intention to seek re election also.