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Shock in Fianna Fáil as former president's son will NOT seek Dáil seat

Dr John Hillery surprised supporters with the decision in the last few days.

Dr John Hillery
Dr John Hillery
Image: Twitter

THE SON OF former president Patrick Hillery has withdrawn his name from the race to be a Fianna Fáil general election candidate in Clare.

Dr John Hillery shocked supporters with the decision in the last few days, citing frustrations with the delay in setting a date for the party’s selection convention.

Hillery, who is based in west Clare but works as a consultant psychiatrist in Dublin, told The Clare Champion that a lack of a definitive timescale for the convention made it difficult to “juggle canvassing with work”.

Hillery, a former president of the Medical Council, could not be contacted for comment this morning. On Twitter, he described it as a “difficult decision”:

Hillery won just over 6,000 first preference votes in the 2011 general election but failed to win a Dáil seat.

Hillery was tipped to win the nomination for Fianna Fáil this time around with the party expected to run three candidates in four-seat Clare where it already has sitting TD Timmy Dooley.

His decision to withdraw from the race means he avoids a potential election battle with his future son-in-law, Labour TD Michael McNamara, who got engaged to Hillery’s daughter, Sarah-Jane Hillery, earlier this year.

His departure from the race is also seen as a boost to Fianna Fáil hopeful Michael ‘Malty’ McDonagh who told TheJournal.ie that the decision was unexpected.

“We’re both extremely good friends and I have the highest regard for his family. We will continue to be good friends.

He phoned me yesterday evening and said he wasn’t going to contest the convention and wished me well. He didn’t say why, but he has a lot of commitments in Dublin, he’s a very caring man for his patients.

Fianna Fáil has said it expects to have almost all of its selection conventions completed by the end of July.

McDonagh said it was his personal preference that the party runs three candidates in Clare. Others putting their names forward at the convention include Clare county councillor Claire Colleran-Molloy and party activist Rita McInerney.

Nominations close on Monday.

Read: A LOT more money is donated to the Socialists than Sinn Féin or Fianna Fáil

Read: Footballer Ger Brennan, a leading No campaigner, joins Fianna Fáil

 

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Hugh O'Connell

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