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'A party in denial': Fianna Fáil has just lost another councillor

Fingal councillor David McGuinness has quit the party after failing to be selected as its candidate for the general election.

David McGuinness
David McGuinness
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

DAVID MCGUINNESS, THE two-time failed Fianna Fáil by-election candidate, has quit the party today.

The Fingal councillor said he was “showing leadership and going solo” in the wake of what he said was Fianna Fáil’s failure to rebuild trust with people across the country after its historic 2011 general election failure.

McGuinness failed to win the Fianna Fail nomination to run in the general election in Dublin West where he was beaten by fellow councillor Jack Chambers in a controversial selection convention in February.

“There is a crisis of confidence in this country with regard to politics and Fianna Fáil has done nothing to rebuild the trust of the people across the communties of this country. These are the same communities who paid the highest price during the economic crash,” McGuinness said in a statement today.

“Some have made the issue out to be solely about the leadership ‘of the party’ but the issue at stake is leadership in general. As a local representative, I have always sought to represent my community and my country in a manner of politics that has been lacking in our political parties.”

The councillor had indicated last month that he was considering quitting the party, pledging to make his mind up before the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis later this month.

He fired a number of criticisms at the Fianna Fáil organisation and the leadership of Micheál Martin in February in the wake of his failure to get selected as the party’s Dáil candidate in Dublin West.

Speaking today, McGuinness said that he will continue to represent his constituents as an independent councillor.

He is the second councillor to quit the party in recent weeks following Kilkenny-based Patrick McKee’s defection to Renua.

There was no immediate comment from Fianna Fáil this afternoon.

McGuinness said that while it became the largest party in local government at the last election, Fianna Fáil’s support in percentage terms in Dublin is “lower… than ever before”.

The Blanchardstown-based councillor said there had been no mention of the “disastrous” European election results where Fianna Fáil returned only one MEP, Brian Crowley, who subsequently quit the parliamentary party. McGuinness added:

“Fianna Fáil is a party in denial who continually show they lack direction, solutions or a vision for the future of this country.”

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

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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