Ballyragget native set to be MEP

A BALLYRAGGET native is in line to become the new MEP for Ireland South (Munster) following vacancies resulting from last month’s general election.

A BALLYRAGGET native is in line to become the new MEP for Ireland South (Munster) following vacancies resulting from last month’s general election.

Senator Phil Prendergast (née Foley) is set to take up the seat which is being vacated by her Labour Party colleague Alan Kelly, who was elected to the Dáil for Tipperary North.

The first replacement for the seat, Labour’s Arthur Spring, was also elected as a TD in Kerry North. Senator Prendergast is the second replacement and says she is ready to take up the challenge.

“I will be saying yes,” said the Senator, who will be the only female MEP for her region. “It is a big challenge and there are big shoes to fill with Alan Kelly being so successful in the role ... but I am up for the challenge.”

It is unclear when she will take up the European seat. When Alan Kelly signed in as a TD, he had to inform the president of the European Council that he was no longer an MEP. Mr Spring then has 20 days to make the same declaration, and Senator Prendergast is next in line.

Ms Prendergast has been a senator since 2007, having previously been a member of her local borough and county councils. She was mayor of Clonmel for two years and was deputy mayor of the town for the millennium year.