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'The one who has the balls to say it': This Fianna Fáil councillor could go independent

David McGuinness says there’s even talk of spurned Fianna Fáil candidates forming a breakaway group.

David McGuinness
David McGuinness
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

DAVID MCGUINNESS, THE two-time failed Fianna Fáil by-election candidate, has said he’s considering running as an independent in the general election.

The Fingal county councillor said he has been receiving the overwhelming message on his social media accounts and from those he has spoken to both inside and outside the party to “cut loose” and run as an independent in the constituency of the late Brian Lenihan.

McGuinness was speaking in the wake of his failure to win the Fianna Fail nomination to run in the general election in Dublin West after he was beaten by fellow councillor Jack Chambers in a controversial selection convention last month.

“I’ve been speaking to the membership of the party and speaking to a lot of local people and taking their advice. When I wasn’t selected the post on Facebook had over 900 interactions and they were overwhelmingly saying to cut loose,” he told TheJournal.ie

McGuinness said he intends to make a decision before the party’s Ard Fheis in the RDS on 24 and 25 April.

He said he was not convinced that Fianna Fáil’s electoral strategy will produce a seat in Dubin West.

The Blanchardstown-based councillor pointed out that he got 10,000 votes in the 2011 by-election to replace Lenihan and nearly 10,000 in the by-election to replace Patrick Nulty, who resigned last year.

Having already fired a number of criticisms at the Fianna Fáil organisation and the leadership of Micheál Martin last month, McGuinness went further today, saying people in the party shared his views.

screenshot.1426785683.63787 Source: www.thejournal.ie

When I was on my trajectory to being a TD in Dublin West I was blinded to the problems in Fianna Fáil. I’ve spoken to former government ministers, sitting TDs and councillors and it’s actually scary what they’re saying.

“The party is on the same percentage as it was back at the last general election. I had a discussion with Willie O’Dea today [on Today with Seán O'Rourke] and he said the party will have a full platform ahead of next general election.

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“If a lady from my area gets on a bus, having to pay €3.30 to get into town and she can’t afford it, she can’t live off waiting for a Fianna Fáil solution. I am being ruthlessly honest about the situation.”

McGuinness said that Fianna Fáil colleagues across Dublin and outside the capital share his views privately, but said that he is “the one who has the balls to say it”.

Council colleagues of mine from around the city have been in touch and further afield. A lot of them feel that I am talking about the vast majority of what they feel.

Asked if he and other candidates who do not get selected by the party to run in the general election could form a breakaway Fianna Fáil group of candidates, McGuinness said “there is talk of it”.

However, he declined to say what specifically was being discussed or who is involved in such talks.

Read: Another failed Fianna Fáil candidate had a big go at Micheál Martin tonight

Background: There’s a big row over the battle to win back Brian Lenihan’s old seat for Fianna Fáil

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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