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Mary Hanafin will NOT be Fianna Fáil's candidate in Dún Laoghaire*

*For now at least as members pick councillor Cormac Devlin to contest the general election.

24/5/2014. Counting Begins Mary Hannifin during last year's elections Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

FORMER MINISTER MARY Hanafin has lost out in her bid to be the Fianna Fáil general election candidate in Dún Laoghaire as party members opted for councillor Cormac Devlin instead.

Devlin beat Hanafin by just four votes as around 135 party members had their say at a selection convention in the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel in Killiney tonight.

Hanafin was reportedly ahead after the first count but after councillor Kate Feeney was eliminated her surplus put Devlin, who has been a councillor since 2004, over the top.

He finished ahead of fellow councillors Hanafin and Feeney following a high-profile battle that has garnered significant media attention in recent weeks.

Devlin had threatened legal action if Fianna Fáil’s national constituencies committee imposed a gender directive instructing members that they could only pick a female candidate.

cllr-cormac-devlin-hi-res-2 Cormac Devlin

In the end the only directive from the party hierarchy was for members to select one candidate at the convention tonight.

But Fianna Fáil could yet add a second candidate in order to comply with new rules that all parties must ensure a third of their candidates are female.

Many believe this will most likely be Hanafin.

However all three councillors who contested the convention have said a one-candidate strategy represents the party’s best chance of a seat in a constituency that is effectively a three-seater as Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett is automatically re-elected. 

Previously: Fianna Fáil members WON’T be forced to pick a woman in Dún Laoghaire

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Hugh O'Connell

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