Fianna Fáil has selected County Mayo GP Dr Keith Swanick as its candidate in the upcoming Seanad Bye Election prompted by the retirement of Senator Jimmy Harte.

Dr Swanick is married with one child, runs a busy GP practice in Belmullet County Mayo and is actively involved in local community development.

He commented, “I am really pleased to have been nominated by Fianna Fáil as the party’s candidate in this Seanad bye election. I actively campaigned for the retention and reform of the Seanad when the Government tried to abolish it and I look forward to campaigning to be a member of it. My primary interest in politics is around community empowerment and primary healthcare.

“The decisions of this Government have had a very negative impact on communities across the country and our health system is really in a state of advanced crisis. Fresh new thinking is needed in both areas and I hope that in the course of this campaign we might be able to have a constructive discussion about the future of our communities.”

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD welcomed Keith’s nomination, commenting, “As a political party that campaigned hard for the reform of the upper house I think it is important that when a Seanad bye election presents itself and if we are in a position to offer a candidate for that bye election, we should do so. The process of debate and campaigning can only help develop respect for the potential of the Seanad and bring wider awareness of the important role it can play. In Dr Keith Swanick, we have a candidate who has a valuable contribution to make, someone who can speak with authority on his areas of interest and someone who would be an excellent Senator if successful in his campaign.”

*** NO REPDUCTION FEE *** DUBLIN : 25/04/2015 : Over three thousands Fianna F·il members attended the Party's 76th's Ard Fheis discussing new policies on childcare, housing, health, mortgages and the economy. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.