Not only will Blaise Hannigan and Pat Finnerty now stand as Independents for the Town Council but also for the County Council, both aggrieved that having sought nominations for the latter they were rejected.

It is now expected that the party, already seeking a third candidate for the county to stand with Pat Daly (outgoing) and Geoff Power, will be looking for at least one other to join Ben Gavin and Gina Hutchinson on the Town Council ticket.

Blaise Hannigan, a Town Councillor who stood unsuccessfully in the last County Council elections, felt he deserved another go at filling the seat to be vacated by long standing councillor Dan Cowman.

Equally Pat Finnerty, a party activist since he was a teenager and one-time Director of Elections for the Tramore area, felt he would have stood a real chance of winning a seat.

A Sligo native, the 54-year-old businessman father-of-four has been resident in Tramore since 1980.

Admitting grave disappointment, he said the people of the town and area deserved good public representation and, seeing as he was being deprived of the opportunity of doing that on behalf of Fianna Fail, he would do so as an Independent.

Cllr Hannigan said it was with great regret he was resigning from the party. He felt that, having worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Tramore as a Town Council member since 1999, he was in a position to bring that experienced to bear at county level.

He now hopes to do so as an Independent.

At the same time he thanked Fianna Fail for giving him the opportunity to represent it over the past decade and he had particular words of thanks for Cllr Dan Cowman for his encouragement.

A party spokesman said it was hoped to announce suitable election candidates for the town and county within a week or two.