Majority of Kerry Fine Gael councillors backing Michael D Higgins in advance of presidential election

The majority of Kerry’s Fine Gael councillors have confirmed they’re backing Michael D Higgins in advance of October’s presidential election.
Fine Gael councillors were sent letters earlier this week saying the party is committed to supporting President Higgins.
A number of Fine Gael party members outside of Kerry have stated they are considering giving their support to other candidates.
There are nine Fine Gael councillors in Kerry County Council.
Councillor Jim Finucane says he’ll be supporting President Higgins, however, he wouldn’t stop anyone else from putting themselves forward, while Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald says he’ll support the incumbent due to the president’s previous role as Minister for the Gaeltacht.
Bobby O’Connell, Fine Gael party whip, says he’s okay with HQ’s direction, while Kenmare Councillor Patrick Connor-Scarteen will also be supporting Michael D Higgins.
Listowel’s Mike Kennelly says the sitting president gets his nod, as he’s served the country well and brought immense wisdom to the role.
Pat McCarthy will be voting for Michael D Higgins; however, he took umbrage with the party’s direction to members.
Liam Purtill says he’s undecided at this time, and will decide when he meets party colleagues.
Finally, Radio Kerry News is awaiting a response from both Cathaoirleach of Listowel MD Aoife Thornton and Cathaoirleach of Killarney MD John Sheahan.
A special meeting of the council will take place on Monday to receive presentations from prospective presidential election candidates.