Local politics was rocked this week at the news that popular Buttevant-based Fine Gael County Councillor Tom Sheahan will not be seeking re-election to Cork County Council next year.

The news comes as a bombshell ahead of a party convention for the newly-configured Fermoy electoral area due to be held in Fermoy next Sunday.

Cllr. Sheahan, who repre-sents the Mallow area on the present council, saw his electoral base deci-mated by the recommend-ations of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee, which see his Buttevant base transferred into the newly constituted Mallow-Kanturk Electoral Area.

Cllr. Sheahan was first elected to Cork County in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004. He lost his seat in the 2009 election but was co-opted to fill the casual vacancy on the council in March 2011 following Tom Barry’s election to the Dáil. Cllr. Sheahan, who is a well known businessman and farmer in Buttevant, served as Mayor of Cork County in 2007/08.

“The decision does not in any way take away from my solid and continued support for Fine Gael and the present Government,” Cllr Sheahan told the Mallow Star this week. “I would like to thank everybody and the Fine Gael organisation that has been so supportive to me over the years,” he added.

Four candidates will go before Sunday’s Fine Gael Convention at Corrin Mart, Fermoy, for the new Fermoy electoral area: Aileen Browne, Charle-ville, Phil Leahy Bally-hooly, Kay Dawson, Mit-chelstown, and Frank Roche, Fermoy.

The new Fermoy area includes considerable parts of the old Kanturk area including Charle-ville, Ballyhea and New-townshandrum.