Tipperary Fine Gael supports Lowry for election
FINE GAEL'S North Tipperary constituency executive last night in Thurles gave its total and unequivocal support to the former Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications, Mr Michael Lowry.
Mr Lowry, at a special meeting with the Fine Gael constituency executive and public representatives, confirmed his intention to seek a Fine Gael nomination for the forthcoming general election.
The meeting was held following speculation that he would not get a party nomination. Afterwards, Mr Lowry said this had now been rejected out of hand.
The meeting, he said, sent out a clear message to correct misleading and inaccurate comments about his support within the organisation and with the public.
The former minister told the meeting he was in intensive discussions to finalise outstanding business issues and would be bringing these to a conclusion at the earliest possible date.
He thanked the organisation for its support and the encouragement that he had received since his resignation. He confirmed that he would be a candidate in the forthcoming election.
Mr Lowry also insisted that he has not received any indication of an attempt to remove the party whip from him. He stated that the overwhelming support he had received gave him every confidence of being re-elected to the Dail.
The former minister denied that a constituency meeting planned for last weekend had been cancelled as a result of complaints in relation to procedures for calling the meeting, insisting that the postponement had been as a result of bad weather, particularly in the north of the county.
In a statement afterwards the chairman of the Fine Gael constituency executive, Mr William Kennedy, said the meeting had been conducted in a positive and constructive atmosphere.
Mr Lowry, he said, had received the unanimous and unequivocal support of all Fine Gael councillors and the entire board of the Fine Gael constituency executive.
All present, he said, welcomed and supported his express intention to seek a Fine Gael nomination at the next election.
He also rejected suggestions that opposition was mounting against Mr Lowry in the county. He said nobody was challenging Mr Lowry's position and that the former minister's support was very strong.
Reacting to the meeting, Mr Lowry said he welcomed the unanimous support, particularly in view of the way some people had misrepresented his support.
"It is strong and I am committed to seeking a nomination and to continue to serve the people in Dail Eireann.
"I am confident I have huge support - overwhelming support - in the organisation and huge support in the community."