Latest Laois News: Pauline Flanagan leaves Fianna Fáil behind and goes Independent

Latest Laois News: Pauline Flanagan leaves Fianna Fáil behind and goes Independent

Portlaoise Electoral Area to see another Independent Candidate join fray as Fianna Fáil lose local activist

 Pauline Flanagan, former Fianna Fáil County Councillor today announced that she has left the political party and will run as an Independent candidate in the 2024 local elections.  

Flanagan became a County Councillor with Laois County Council in June 2018, after being co-opted onto the seat following the death of Councillor Jerry Lodge.   She subsequently lost this seat in the 2019 local elections.  However, Pauline Flanagan also ran in the general election for Fianna Fáil in February 2020 securing over 1,700 first preference votes.  

Pauline Flanagan commented: ‘I have not made this decision lightly, as I have always been a Fianna Fáil voter and I was absolutely honoured to have been co-opted as a Laois County Councillor with Fianna Fáil in 2018.   I believe however that given my late age officially entering the world of politics, I have only one more chance at going for election.  As I have not been added to the local election ticket with Fianna Fáil, it is with a heavy heart that I am leaving the party to go independent. I will always be grateful for the years of friendships, laughter and solidarity I received within the party’, concluded Ms Flanagan.

Flanagan is married to Gerry Flanagan and resides in Portlaoise town.  They have three children, Meghan (27), Frank (25, who is a dual player with Portlaoise GAA) and Paul (19, who plays football with Portlaoise GAA).  She works as a lecturer in SETU Carlow and is actively involved in numerous voluntary organisations in Laois including:

–        Vice-chairperson with the board of Laois Partnership

–        Board Secretary with Laois Volunteer Centre

–        Board Secretary with Youth Work Ireland Laois

–        Board Member with LTAG

–        Joint PRO of Laois Integration Network (LIN)

–        Member and joint PRO with Portlaoise GAA Mothers and Others 

–        Committee member with Hawthorn Drive Residents Association

Former Fianna Fail candidate Pauline Madigan Picture Conor McCabe

Pauline Flanagan concluded by saying that she looks forward to engaging, listening and working with the people of Laois over the coming months and stressed her ability and hunger to win a seat in the 2024 local elections.

In response Fianna Fáil headquarters had the following to say:

“We are very disappointed to learn of Pauline’s decision to leave the Party.

After the recent candidate selection convention in Portlaoise, where Councillors Catherine Fitzgerald and John Joe Fennelly were selected, Naeem Iqbal immediately applied to the Party to be added to the ticket for this electoral area. At the same time, Pauline indicated she did not wish to be added to the ticket. Naeem was subsequently added to the ticket, something which Pauline welcomed.

Some time after that decision, Pauline indicated she had changed her mind and now wished to be added. This was under consideration by the Party’s National Constituencies Committee (NCC).

No decision had been made by the Party in respect of that application by the time Pauline’s resignation was received. Pauline’s resignation came before the NCC had concluded its work. We wish her well.”