Ratoath councillor Nick Killian has resigned from Fianna Fail after 15 years representing the party on Meath County Council. He will run as an independent candidate in this year's local elections.
This comes after Fianna Fail headquarters named two additional candidates to the local ticket. The party will run four candidates in the seven-seater district. Dunboyne Councillor Noel Leonard and Dunshaughlin man PJ Whyte were recently given the nomination, and will join Ratoath's Deirdre Smith and Damien O'Reilly of Dunboyne who were elected at the party's local area convention in January.
Councillor Killian was first elected in 1999 and has held the seat since. However he was not nominated at the party's convention to run in 2014.
“As a result of the decision at the recent selection convention, I have decided to put myself forward for election for the Ratoath Local Electoral area of Meath County Council as an independent candidate,” said Killian.
“I am doing this with the full support of my friends and political supporters, I have made the difficult decision to resign and I wish all my former colleagues in the Fianna Fail party here in Co Meath every success for the future. I wish to continue to represent the needs and concerns of the community and residents of Ratoath and surrounding areas as I have done for the past 15 years. I have delivered and will keep delivering the ongoing necessary infrastructure that Ratoath requires,” he said.
Cllr Noel Leonard was first elected in 2004, and was added to the ticket due to his experience as a councillor, according to Fianna Fail.
Over his two terms, Cllr Leonard has been instrumental in the development of Dunboyne Park and Playground, including Dunboyne Skatepark. The Dunboyne native also worked on the reintroduction of train services to the town.
“I am delighted that I will represent Fianna Fáil in Dunboyne in May. I have been honoured to represent Dunboyne and the surrounding regions since 2004, following thirty years of volunteering in my community. I have as much hunger to make Dunboyne and the area the best place in Meath as I did when I first worked with my fellow residents years ago,” said Cllr Leonard.
PJ Whyte, a resident of Ardlea in Dunshaughlin, was also added to the party's tickets last week. Whyte, who has lived in Dunshaughlin for 22 years, is a plasterer by trade. His company was badly affected when the building downturn hit.
“Being self employed has been tough at times but it has given me the determination to work as hard as I possibly can. I will ensure that Dunshaughlin is given the best representation and is open for business,” said Whyte.
The father of two was a manager for Dunshaughlin GAA and was active with Dunshaughlin Gaelscoil na Ríthe.