LOUTH senior football manager Peter Fitzpatrick has confirmed that he will be allowing his name to go forward for Fine Gael's convention in the Fairways Hotel on Thursday night.
The Belfry Gardens man was approached by the party before Christmas with a view to running for them in the General Election but took several weeks before coming to a decision.
Last Tuesday he issued a statement saying that he would not be accepting their offer but performed a dramatic U-turn within a couple of hours of its release after receiving several calls of support. At the time he said he was reconsidering his position but finally opted to put his name forward for the convention before Friday's deadline.
As well as his role as manager of the county's footballers, Fitzpatrick is also the regional manager of Kelliher's Electrical. Despite those distractions though the father of three said he believes this is a very opportune time to stand for election.
He said: "All of the strong election contenders are by and large in the southern end of the constituency and I feel that our area in the northern end, stretching from Carlingford to mid-Louth and the Ardee area is crying out for strong representation to try and re-establish the commercial and social life of the region.
"As a business man and as someone who was born and reared in Dundalk it devastates me to see what has been allowed to happen to jobs and as a result to the social life in Dundalk and the surrounding towns."
Fitzpatrick says he feels that he can bring the same sense of pride to his native county in the political arena as he has done in sporting circles.
Having started in the electrical wholesaling business at a young age Peter went on to build his own business in the same sector with 26 employees. This business was eventually merged into Kelliher's Electrical and Fitzpatrick now serves as regional manager for Leinster with this same firm, which now employs 300 nationally.
"The 2006 Census of population shows that Louth had proportionally more children under 10 than nationally. When I reflect on the fact that many of those under 10s are now young teenagers who also according to the same census are more likely to leave education earlier and with fewer qualifications than anywhere else in the country, it saddened me that the future for our young people in Louth looked so bleak, particularly in the present economic circumstances that now prevails.
"My decision to agree to seek the Fine Gael nomination is based on being approached by a number of local party activists and my belief that our area needs strong representation and I am prepared to provide that for County Louth if given the opportunity to do so by Fine Gael.
"I strongly believe that Fine Gael will be the biggest party in the next government and I look forward to playing a strong role in bringing a renewed sense of prosperity and pride to our native county", concluded Fitzpatrick.
l Peter Fitzpatrick