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Conor Lenihan is Fianna Fáil's latest comeback kid

The former junior minister has been approached about running in Roscommon.

Conor Lenihan
Conor Lenihan
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

CONOR LENIHAN IS the latest Fianna Fáil minister in line for a political comeback after being approached about the possibility of running for the party in Roscommon.

The former junior minister has confirmed he was approached by “very senior figures” in the party organisation about the possibility of running in the Roscommon-Galway constituency at the next general election.

He is now gauging what support he may have to run for the party’s nomination in the constituency.

Lenihan was a TD in Dublin South-West for 14 years prior to losing his seat in the 2011 general election but he has strong family ties to Roscommon where his father Brian was a TD in the 1960s.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie today, the 52-year-old said:  ”Last week I came down to the county and talked to a number of key and senior people in the organisation and I spoke to people at every end of the constituency.

“I am not pushing myself on the constituency. People have approached me and I am ready to listen and consider any proposal.

“For me to become a candidate in Roscommon it would require a lot of local political support from members and senior figures. So I am gauging that at the moment to see if support is there.”

Lenihan, who served as a junior minister between 2004 and 2011, said he did not thing his association with the last Fianna Fáil government was any bar to him running and potentially winning a seat.

File Photo Former TD Conor Lenihan is considering standing for Fianna Fail in the next general election after he was approached by senior party members in Roscommon. Source: RollingNews.ie

He cited former education minister Mary Hanafin securing a council seat last year and Bobby Aylward winning back his Dáil seat in a by-election last May as examples of this.

“I think there is no bar on anyone from previous administration becoming candidates. The evidence of those who have put their names forward is one of great success.”

Several former Fianna Fáil ministers are now on course to run for the party in the next general election.

Lenihan is currently based out of Moscow where he has worked for the Skolkovo Foundation. He also sits on the borad of San Leon Energy.

He said he would be prepared to move back to Ireland if he returned to the Dáil.

“I travel a great deal for business purposes. Naturally if one were elected to represent Roscommon one would need to establish residency in the constituency,” he said.

Redrawn Roscommon-Galway is a three-seater at the next general election with two incumbent independents Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten (formerly of Fine Gael) expected to perform strongly.

Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan is stepping down with councillor Maura Hopkins likey to run in his place.

Lenihan would face competition for the Fianna Fáil nomination from local county councillors Eugene Murphy and Paschal Fitzmaurice. Sinn Féin is running Claire Kerrane while Labour will run senator John Kelly.

Read: Can Fianna Fáil ‘Cope’ with this ex-minister’s comeback?

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Hugh O'Connell

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