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'I would like to thank God': Jubilant Perry added to Fine Gael election ticket after court battle

The former junior minister sued his own party after he was dropped from the ticket at his local selection convention.

Updated 2.50pm

perry2 John Perry prepares to speak to reporters outside Leinster House. Source: Daragh Brophy/Twitter

FINE GAEL TD John Perry has been speaking to reporters in the wake of his party’s decision this afternoon to add him to the election ticket for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency.

Today’s move by party bosses followed a court action against Fine Gael by the former junior minister, after he was dropped from the ticket at the local selection convention in October.

Perry, who has been a TD since 1997, said he wanted to thank his family and the many constituents who had supported him in his effort to be reinstated ahead of the general election.

Candles had been lit and mass cards sent to him in recent weeks, he said.

“Constituents genuinely felt I was wronged,” he said.

I would like to thank God for this day. This day is a day for justice.

Speaking outside Leinster House, Perry would not answer questions about whether he has confidence in party general secretary Tom Curran.

He said “that’s not a question for me to answer today”. The veteran TD would also not discuss who will meet the legal costs in the case.

This afternoon’s developments followed a morning of talks on what was to have been the sixth day of court proceedings in Perry’s bid to be accepted as a candidate.

Court 

The High Court was told that the national executive of Fine Gael will meet tomorrow night and will make a recommendation that he be added to the ticket, a matter that will be automatically accepted by all of the party chiefs.

Peace talks broke out this morning between Perry’s legal team and lawyers for Fine Gael trustees following yesterday’s remarks in the witness box by the party’s general secretary Tom Curran.

Curran told the court the option of adding Perry as a third candidate for the general election in Sligo-Leitrim was “still in play”.

With Fine Gael riding high in the polls at 32% it was “possible for the party to look again at this,” he said.

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Perry alleged there had been serious and substantial irregularities at the convention which rendered its decision making unlawful and fundamentally flawed.

Court proceedings did not get under way today after the judge, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, was told talks were taking place.

The Enda question 

In his comments outside the Dáil, Perry said he felt vindicated by today’s decision. He had received huge support from fellow TDs, senators and other party members, he insisted.

He said he hadn’t spoken to the Taoiseach about today’s developments.

Asked about his feeling towards Enda Kenny, who he insisted had promised all sitting TDs could defend their seats, Perry said he always supported the “majority elected leader of the party”.

- with reporting from Ray Managh at the High Court. 

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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