Social Democrats party leader Holly Cairns TD with new candidate for the Edenderry area John McNamee and Cllr Clare Claffey when they met in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore in June of last year.

Social Democrats running two candidates in Offaly

The Social Democrats has confirmed it is running two candidates in Offaly, and is “open to the possibility” of running a person in the Tullamore area.

Sitting party Cllr Clare Claffey, who was first elected to Offaly County Council in 2019, will be bidding to retain her seat in the Birr area in the local elections, probably taking place in June.

The Banagher woman, a mother-of-seven, was the only female representative on Offaly County Council for much of the term until she was joined by Sandy Feehan-Smollen, who was co-opted to the local authority in September.

The Clara native fills the vacancy created by her husband, Ken, who announced his decision to step down as a public representative due to health reasons.

In addition to running in the local elections, she said last June during the visit of party leader Holly Cairns to Offaly that she was "seriously considering" a bid for the Dáil at the next general election.

She will be joined on the party ticket by newcomer John McNamee, who is contesting the elections for the Social Democrats in the Edenderry area.

Mr McNamee, who works in event management, is well known in Edenderry and surrounding areas for his involvement with the local soccer club, Derry Rovers.

In a social media post at the turn of the year, Mr McNamee said his dream for 2024 is to be elected in the local elections.

Despite saying last year that they hoped to have a candidate running in Tullamore, no one has been announced as of yet. A Social Democrats spokesperson said this week that the party “remains open to the possibility” to running a candidate in Tullamore.