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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019

The members won't like it, but Fianna Fáil is sticking with its Longford candidate

The party’s ard comhairle has rejected efforts to run

Pat O'Rourke and councillor Seamus Butler had hoped to contest the Longford selection convention
Pat O'Rourke and councillor Seamus Butler had hoped to contest the Longford selection convention
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FIANNA FÁIL HAS rejected efforts to re-run its general election selection convention in Longford, despite appeals from local party members.

The party’s ard comhairle this evening rejected a motion put forward by the Longford branch to reverse the ratification of Connie Gerety Quinn and re-run the convention.

The decision is unlikely to be welcomed by members in Longford who recently passed a motion of no confidence in the candidate.

Gerety Quinn was nominated as the Fianna Fáil Dáil hopeful in Longford-Westmeath, alongside sitting TD Robert Troy, in controversial circumstances at a selection convention in October.

Members were told on the night that only a female candidate could be nominated meaning Gerety Quinn was selected by default at the expense of party activist Pat O’Rourke and local councillor Seamus Butler.

The decision sparked uproar, with members subsequently passing a motion of no confidence in Gerety Quinn and calling for the the convention to be reconvened.

In a letter to ard comhairle members, the Longford branch of Fianna Fáil said that members “rightly felt abused and disenfranchised as the views of grassroots members had clearly been ignored” at the convention.

But efforts to reverse the gender quota decision were voted down at the ard comhairle meeting, meaning Gerety Quinn will be the Fianna Fáil candidate for the election next year.

Some members had also tried to orchestrate an unofficial selection convention in Longford earlier this month, but the event was described as “a sham”.

The possibility of running an ‘unofficial’ Fianna Fáil candidate has not been ruled out by some members locally.

Background: Chaos turns to ‘sham’ for Fianna Fáil in Longford

More: Fianna Fáil members express no confidence in the party’s own candidate

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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