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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

Fianna Fáil meeting will decide party's Áras intentions

One senator appeared to call for MEP Brian Crowley to re-enter the race although that appears unlikely with talk that members could back David Norris.

Senator Mark Daly
Senator Mark Daly
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE FIANNA FÁIL parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday will determine who, if anyone, the party decides to endorse for the presidency.

Amid fresh reports this morning that some party members are prepared to back David Norris’s candidacy, Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly told the Marian Finucane programme on RTÉ Radio that he was  still hoping an alternative could emerge.

On discussions over who the party would back, Daily said: “That will be a discussion for Tuesday,” adding: ”I would be hoping that if Brian Crowley is entering the race support for him could be discussed.”

But he said if that didn’t happen it was likely that the party would opt out and not facilitate anyone.

Sarah McInerney writes in today’s Sunday Times that senior Fianna Fáil figures have said TDs will facilitate Norris, who needs 20 signatures in order to be on the ballot paper, amid growing disquiet over the leadership of the party by Micheál Martin and his handling of the presidential election issue.

Crowley has reportedly been urged to re-enter the race having ruled himself out last month, prior to Fianna Fáil deciding it was not going to run its own internal candidate, a decision that has not gone down well with everyone in the party.

At a fractious six-hour parliamentary party meeting last week, the candidacy of latecomer Labhras Ó Murchú, a four term senator, was discussed but it appears unlikely at this stage that he will command enough support to be a candidate.

Daly said of that meeting: ”It was a difficult meeting. There were a lot of opinions and we didn’t come to a consensus. The idea of having a free vote was discussed and is one of the options.”

He said  that if allowed a free vote, some of Fianna Fáil’s 33 Oireachtas members would be backing Labour’s Michael D Higgins and independent Seán Gallagher.

Poll: Who do you want to be the next President of Ireland?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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