TWO Independent candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for the upcoming local elections in Laois. They are Portlaoise resident Naeem Iqbal and Ger Hogan from Camross.
This brings the total number of runners to 33, who will contest the 19 available seats.
Accountant Naeem Iqbal is a Pakistani national but has lived in Portlaoise for more than three years. He now enters the race alongside cllrs Catherine Fitzgerald, John Joe Fennelly, Pauline Madigan and Donal Kelly (Fianna Fáil); cllrs Mary Sweeney, Willie Aird and Thomasina Connell (Fine Gael); cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley and John Gormley (Sinn Féin); Dominic Dunne and Noel O’Rourke (Renua Ireland) and Noel Tuohy (Labour).
In the Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District, Mr Hogan from Camross is a construction worker, joins 11 others for one of the six seats on offer. They are cllrs Seamus McDonald and Paddy Bracken along with Declan Goode and Liam O’Neill (Fianna Fáil); cllr Brendan Phelan (Independent); Lorna Garry (Sinn Féin); cllrs John King and David Goodwin along with Conor Bergin and Fergal Conroy (Fine Gael).