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The Real McCoy / Fine Gael’s Finnan not ruling out bid to return to local politics

McCoy Markey
Former Fine Gael councillor Finnan McCoy and soon-to-be MEP Colm Markey. Photo Credit: Kathy Gilroy-Barry.

Finnan McCoy has not ruled out another bid to return to frontline politics, as Fine Gael now seek a nomination to replace outgoing councillor Colm Markey who is heading for Brussels in his role as an MEP.

On Tuesday, Markey was confirmed as the man who would replace new EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness in the European Parliament. Markey was McGuinness’ first named substitute to replace her as an MEP should the eventuality arise. He was named ahead of the other contenders – former TD and Senator Frank Feighan, former Senator Gab McFadden and Meath County Councillor Sharon Tolan.


Markey was first elected to Louth County Council in 2009 and has served as a councillor on the Ardee Municipal District since its establishment in 2009. A one time Seanad Eireann candidate, he acted as Director of Elections for Peter Fitzpatrick’s successful re-election campaign to Dáil Éireann in 2016.

The European Parliament still have to vote in favour of McGuinness’ nomination to EU Commissioner but that is a formality.

The party will now have to replace Togher-based Markey on Louth County Council, with a selection convention and co-option likely to take place. Speaking to LouthNow.ie on Wednesday, Finnan McCoy said he was considering putting his name forward to fill the vacancy and he did not rule out contesting a selection convention should another candidate or candidates emerge.

The former councillor said if he was co-opted back onto Louth County Council, he would sit for the until the next local election in 2024 before stepping down. He turns 70 next February.

McCoy finished third from bottom of a field of 13 in last year’s local elections, running in the Ardee electoral area. He received just 406 first preference votes – while Fine Gael’s other two candidates – Markey and Louth County Council Cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue – topped the polls.

McCoy had previously lost his seat in 2014, garnering 452 votes in a shock result to miss out on a council seat after 23 years as a councillor. He was first elected to Louth County Council in 1991 when we ran as a Progressive Democrat. He ran for Fine Gael in subsequent local elections in 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

He is a former Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, serving a term from June 2012 to June 2013. McCoy also served on Ardee Town Council from 1994 until it’s abolishment in 2014.


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