Sean Power and Rob Power
You could call it a shift to the balance of power.
Former Minister of State Sean Power will not be contesting the next Kildare County Council elections, due in May.
His son Rob, elected to KCC for the first time in the 2014 local elections, looks set to replace him on the ballot in the Newbridge Municipal District area.
Rob was elected to the Naas Municipal District of KCC in ‘14 - his first electoral contest but intends to move district in the next election, subject to ratification by the local party organisation.
His father Sean (who turns 58 this weekend) was elected to the Newbridge Municipal District on the same day. Sean was a late addition to the Fianna Fail candidates list for that poll.
He spoke of his public humiliation by the party in the run up to the election after his name was left off the FF selection convention nominees for the area.
Sean was a former TD who lost his Kildare South seat in the 2011 General Election, which saw Fianna Fail lose many seats because of the economic collapse. He has previously been a member of KCC between 1999 and 2003.
This development may have been influenced by changes to the boundaries affecting the municipal districts within KCC and the areas served by the districts.
Instead of a single Newbridge-Kildare Municipal District with nine seats there will be two single entities, Newbridge and Kildare, with six and five seats respectively. The Naas Municipal District will have two less councillors.
Rob told the Leader that it’s his intention to continue to represent Caragh and Kilcullen as part of the Newbridge district, subject, to ratification by the local party organisation. He is the current Deputy Mayor of Co. Kildare and served as Mayor of Naas.
Sean told the Leader that he is standing down from politics. “I’ve enjoyed my time as a politician and especially becoming Mayor of Kildare but my race is run.”
Rob is the third generation of the Caragh family to enter politics. His grandfather, the late Paddy, was a TD when Kildare was a single constituency as well as Minister for Fisheries and Forestry and later Minister for Defence in the first two FF governments led by the late Charlie Haughey.
His uncle JJ was a member of Naas Town Council and KCC.