Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton, has refused to be drawn on speculation that the by-election, to fill the Dáil seat previously held by the late Nicky McFadden, will be held on the same day as the local elections.
He was in Athlone yesterday to perform the sod-turning ceremony in the IDA Business Park for a new 2,000 square metre advance building, which, with another similar development in Waterford is expected to create between 160 and 180 new jobs.
When asked about a date for the Longford/Westmeath by-election during a brief meeting with local and national media, Minister Bruton said: “Clearly that is a matter for the Oireachtas to decide and government will make a proposal. No discussion has occurred yet at Cabinet”.
National media outlets have suggested Taoiseach Enda Kenny will run the two by-elections for the Dail on May 23, the same day as the local and European elections.
If that is to happen, it’s believed that the next Wednesday is latest day that the by-election can be formally announced as the writ has to be moved by the party by April 30.
The vacancy in the capital comes as a result of the resignation former Labour TD, Patrick Nulty.