Former Labour councillor Noel McCarthy, who is to run for Fine Gael in the forthcoming general election, has said it was very difficult for him to leave his party of 30 years but that he had no choice.

The Cork County Councillor said he was disappointed and unhappy that the Labour Party would not put him on the ticket in Cork East.

Over the weekend, Fine Gael announced that it would be adding him to its ticket, to run alongside sitting TDs David Stanton and Tom Barry.

Mr McCarthy said he is delighted Fine Gael has shown faith in him.

He accepted he would be the underdog but said he hopes the people of Cork East will put their faith in him and that he can be the first Fine Gael TD elected in the Fermoy area in 28 years.

Mr McCarthy, who is originally from Cobh, was first elected to Cork County Council in 2009, and re-elected in 2014. 

He had been a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years before his recent departure. 

He topped the poll in the Fermoy Local Electoral Area in the 2014 local elections.