Fine Gael Convention:
28th. Sept. Auburn Lodge Hotel Ennis, Co. Clare.
The convention attracted an attendance of about 1,000 people, some 620 of whom were entitled to vote as party members .And as this was the first contest in Clare in 20 years, it was also the first time that one man one vote system of election was held in the county instead of individual branches Two votes were spoilt, making the total valid poll at 618 and the quota at 206. The result of the first count was Senator Taylor Quinn 192: Breen 164: Carey 146 and Crowe 116. No candidate reached the quota and on the elimination of Crowe and the distribution of his votes, the second count resulted in Breen getting 63 votes - total 227: Senator Taylor Quinn plus 28 - 220 and Carey plus 19 - 165. Six votes were non-transferable.
A newcomer to Clare Co. Council chamber, Mr. Breen does part time farming and is also a qualified architectural technician. In Fine Gael circles he is a past secretary and chairman of the Clare Constituency executive and is also a past officer of the West Clare Executive. When he contested Clare Co. Council elections for the first time in June, 1999, he received the highest Fine Gael vote in the county. A member of the Co. Clare Vocational Education Committee, he is also working with Munster Fine Gael MEP John Cushnahan in current European affairs.
When the selection convention result was announced, he said that he did not expect this situation to happen. His immediate thoughts went to Donal Carey. However, he knew he would be back.
Senator Madeline Taylor was narrowly beaten for the fourth seat in the last general election In Clare after Fine Gael increased its vote in the county. After the result on Thursday night she said she was humbled and honoured but felt particularly sorry for Donal Carey" It is a difficult time and a hard choice and I have been a little overcome by it. It is nice to be a winner but very hard to be a loser" she told the convention.
Source: The Clare Champion. 28th. Sept. 2001 (Tony Mulvey.)