Westlife star Shane Filan's brother becomes Renua candidate
THE brother of former Westlife singer Shane Filan has been confirmed as the Renua candidate to contest the Sligo-Leitrim constituency.
Finbarr Filan, the older sibling of the pop star, has become the 12th candidate to be selected by the recently-founded Renua party, led by TD Lucinda Creighton.
The 47-year-old is a newcomer to the political scene, having previously worked and managed in manufacturing, retail and construction.
Finbarr also established the company Shafin Developments along with his brother.
The firm took out a series of loans to construct a 90-home estate in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, but the company went into receivership in 2012.
Shane subsequently declared bankruptcy in Britain.
The elder Filan first ventured into politics when he was selected to be an ambassador in the successful campaign to secure a Purple Flag for Sligo - an award for excellence of a town's night-life.
He was also acting as chairman of the Sligo Business Improvement District and holds council membership for with the Sligo Chamber.
Most recently the newly-chosen political candidate has managed a Centra store, which he took over in 2010 when it was making a loss and has since turned it into a profitable business employing 20 local people.
Commenting on his decision to enter politics, Mr Filan cited a "waste" in the public sector as well as a "lack of leadership" in Irish politics among his reasons.
"For years I, like so many others, have complained about our politicians and the waste that is so visible in the public sector throughout our country," he said.
"I welcomed the birth of Renua as a new [party] that could provide the leadership and direction that is so badly need in Ireland today.
"Ireland needs a new politics centred on integrity - I believe Lucinda Creighton and Renua can provide this.
"From my work in town and city centre management, I have experienced first-hand the frustration of the real-time environment of retail business dealing with a monolith of a local authority.
"We need change and I would welcome the opportunity to be part of and help lead this change.
"I believe I have the character, personality, ability and life experience to win a seat for Renua in Sligo-Leitrim," he added.
Meanwhile, his party leader Lucinda Creighton said that Finbarr Filan "typifies the new breed of candidates Renua Ireland is attracting".
"Unlike the old dynastic parties, they are new to politics.
"Finbarr is the latest new voice bringing new ideas who has decided Renua is the only new option for those who want to develop new ways of governing Ireland.
"He is an entrepreneur owho has experienced the highs and the lows of business and can bring the sort of 'can do' pragmatism to Irish politics which is sorely needed," Ms Creighton added.