Cllr Craig Lovett

Lovett won’t contest election for Cavan County Council

Fianna Fáil’s Craig Lovett has revealed he will step down from politics come the next election.

Cllr Lovett made the decision to after one term in order to concentrate on his career outside of his local authority work.

The Kilnaleck native now works with the Department for Agriculture, and has served as a councillor in the Ballyjamesduff area since his election in 2019.

Cllr Lovett was elected five years ago in count five with 1,290 first preferences, becoming the youngest member of the chamber. He had missed out on getting a seat by just 43 votes when he stood as a candidate in 2014.

A farmer, former livestock auctioneer, and jiver, Cllr Lovett confirmed his decision to the Celt this week, saying: “I’m not going to run. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my five years and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me, canvassed with me, and has supported me over that time, in the Kilnaleck, Crosserlough, wider Ballyjamesduff area and further afield.

“I feel I contributed to getting some good work done, but I feel now it’s time for someone else to step up.”

He adds a special thanks to his family for being there for him through it all.

“To Mairead, and to my family, a massive thank you goes to them. There’s not a politician in this country who does what they do without relying on the enormous support they receive from their families. It’s incredible really.”

In recent times politicians have announced plans to step down because of growing levels of perceived toxicity in the criticism directed towards them, particularly online.

“It does happen, but for me at least, the good times outweigh the bad. Definitely. It’s an honour to have been elected, serve the county and this council, and the people of my community as I have done,” he said.

Cllr Lovett not contesting the upcoming local election throws open the prospect for a potential upset in the hotly contested six-seater Ballyjamesduff area. Last time out nine candidates stood, and already it looks like the same number if not more could find their way onto the ballot sheet in 2024.

A convention will take place in the local area in the coming weeks among Fianna Fáil to decide who will stand in Cllr Lovett’s place. Several names are already in the mix, including Nathan Galligan who has been selected to go forward by the Kilnaleck Cumann.

Cllr Lovett is hopeful Mr Galligan will get the nod: “It’s an important thing for an area, to have a voice at the table. Hopefully he’ll get through convention, and all going well he’ll take a seat.”