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FF election candidates demand input in leadership contest

A Fianna Fáil candidate in the general election in Clare says the party’s next Dáil crop should have a role in picking a leader.

Dr John Hillery is a former president of the Medical Council, and is running for Fianna Fáil in Clare.
Dr John Hillery is a former president of the Medical Council, and is running for Fianna Fáil in Clare.
Image: PA Archive

FIANNA FÁIL’S CANDIDATES for the general election should be given a chance to have their say in who should be the next leader of the party.

That’s according to one of the party’s election candidates, who thinks that limiting voting in Wednesday’s leadership ballot to the party’s current crop of TDs is unfair to the people who hope to serve under the next leader, whoever they are.

John Hillery, son of the former president Patrick Hillery and a candidate in Clare, said he had contact the party secretary Seán Dorgan and the chairman of the parliamentary party, John Browne, asking them to consider the views of those who may be TDs in the coming Dáil.

“All Fianna Fail General Election candidates across Ireland pledged to contest the forthcoming election on behalf of a party led by Taoiseach Brian Cowen,” Hillery said.

“It is imperative that those who will be canvassing alongside the next leader are given the opportunity to have their say in his or her appointment.”

With more than one candidate already nominated for the leadership contest, the leadership will remain vacant until Wednesday afternoon when the party’s TDs meet to elect a new leader.

It is only the party’s 71 TDs, however, who will get a vote in that election; the party’s ordinary members, and even its Senators and MEPs, have no role.

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Gavan Reilly

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