FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has indicated his openness to the former minister Mary Hanafin running for the party at the next general election, saying “no one is prohibited from putting their name forward”.
Martin was reacting to Hanafin telling Pat Kenny on Newstalk yesterday that running for the Dáil in the Dún Laoghaire constituency in 2016 is “certainly something that I would like”.
Hanafin, who was first elected to the Dáil in 1997 but lost her seat in 2011, has ruled herself out of the forthcoming European elections and says she won’t run for the local council.
However she noted that boundary changes in the competitive constituency, which includes Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett (who would automatically be re-elected) and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, have changed in her favour.
“We’ll do some polls to see what people are thinking and what people want,” she said yesterday.
Responding a short time later, Martin told the media that he has repeatedly said that anyone who wants to go forward for the party can do so.
“Anybody is entitled to put their name forward in a convention. No one is prohibited form putting their name forward and it’s up to each individual to make his or her choice in terms of what they feel is best for them,” he siad.
“Mary Hanafin has clearly indicated that she doesn’t wish to go forward for the Europeans, but she hasn’t ruled herslef out of politics at all and may return at a later date.
That’s for the individuals themselves to consider and I think it’s as basic and as simple as that, as it always has been.”
Hanafin also gave her backing to Dublin city councillor Mary Fitzpatrick who is one of three people in the running for the nomination to be the Fianna Fáil candidate for the European elections in the capital.
Equality campaigner Tiernan Brady and former senator Geraldine Feeney are also in the running with the party to hold its selection convention in the capital on 26 January.