FINE Gael councillor Sinéad Sheppard has confirmed that no contact has been made between party representatives and her over potentially running as a party candidate in the next general election.
Cork East TD David Stanton announced earlier this week that he will retire as a TD at the end of the current term which has promoted much speculation that the party will turn to Ms Sheppard to run.
Ms Sheppard, a former member of the pop band Six, who has been a Fine Gael councillor in Cobh since 2009, said she is “flattered” by the speculation.
However, she insisted there has been no official contact made with her.
“I am absolutely flattered to think people are associating my name with representing the people of Cork East.
“I will be honest and genuine, there has been no discussions between the Fine Gael party and I. More importantly, there has been no discussions between my family and I yet. I am excited to think that my name is being spoken about. A lot must be considered,” she said.
Ms Sheppard said she only became aware Mr Stanton was not seeking re-election last Monday night. “It is very early days. David genuinely hadn’t made his mind up and we weren’t sure if he was going to go again or not.
“It was only confirmed to me last Monday. Since my name has been mentioned, it has been on my mind.
“There is very little, very young female representation in national politics. I also feel there are very few young mums in politics. We need it.
“I also understand the challenges that are there and the reason why there isn’t bigger representation.
“I don’t know if Cork East has ever had a female representative in the Dáil. I would love to see that whether that is me or not, I don’t know,” she added.
“I love politics,” said Ms Sheppard, who served as mayor of Cobh in 2012.
“I have been in politics almost 15 years now. I love the job. I was on the town council in Cobh for five years.
“Subsequently I have contested two county council elections and being successful thankfully.
“With every job there are good days and bad days. I thoroughly enjoy representing the Cobh municipal district.
“Whether you are in the Dáil or in Cork County Council, all politics is local and all to do with people that you represent.”