Harte considering Labour offer

Former Fine Gael Councillor Jimmy Harte has confirmed he's considering an approach from the Labour Party, with the prospect of contesting the next general election under the Labour banner.

Cllr Harte, a member of Donegal County and Letterkenny Town Councils says he's made no decisions, but he is seriously considering the offer.

He secured re-election to both councils as an independent last year, and is currently the Deputy Mayor of Letterkenny.

In the 2007 General Election, Cllr Jimmy Harte ran as an independent, polling 1313 first preferences, almost double the 703 secured by the Labour candidate Siobhan Mc Laughlin.

Cllr Harte had left Fine Gael some months before the election on foot of the decision to run only one candidate. From the party's perspective, the tactic worked, with Deputy Joe Mc Hugh topping the poll and giving Fine Gael a Donegal North East seat for the first time in 10 years.

In last year's local elections, Labour secured two seats, with Inishowen Cllr Martin Farren a former Fine Gael colleague of Cllr Harte. Whether or not they are about to become party colleagues again remains to be seen.