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'Sad and awful': Haughey return sparks anger at Micheál Martin

The decision to add Seán Haughey to the Fianna Fáil ticket in Dublin Bay North has angered his running mate.

Seán Haughey
Seán Haughey
Image: RollingNews.ie

MICHEÁL MARTIN HAS been heavily criticised over the decision to add former junior minister Seán Haughey to the Fianna Fáil ticket in Dublin Bay North.

As was widely expected, Haughey was added to the party ticket last night but his fellow running mate Deirdre Heney, who was selected by party members in June, described the decision as “sad and awful”.

The Dublin city councillor declined to express faith in her party leader in a radio interview this morning.

“I am very very disappointed in the leader of my party doing this to me, a woman who was elected fairly and squarely at a convention in Fianna Fáil,” she told Newstalk Breakfast earlier.

Heney said she had put a “huge amount of effort” into winning the support of members at the convention and stated her belief that Haughey, who is also a councillor, was added because of his friendship with Martin.

heney

“I think it is very unfair what has happened to me,” she said, adding that it was the second time it had happened after Haughey was picked to run in the Clontarf ward in last year’s local elections.

She said the “sad and awful” thing about the decision was that it could result in Fianna Fáil getting no Dáil seat in the competitive five-seat Dublin Bay North.

However, a party source disputed this, saying Fianna Fáil’s national constituencies committee had determined that the best way of winning a seat for the party was a two-candidate strategy.

Heney also declined to express faith in her party leader this morning, saying:

I am not going to comment about my faith in Micheál Martin, because I don’t want to.

Fianna Fáil declined to comment.

The Battle of Dún Laoghaire

Separately, nominations have opened in the Dún Laoghaire constituency with a warning to Fianna Fáil members that the party must comply with gender quotas.

In a letter to party members in the constituency, general secretary Sean Dorgan said:

The National Constituencies Committee is cognisant of the legal obligation that at least 30pc of our Party’s candidates are female. With this in mind, there is an expectation that both women and men are nominated.

Fianna Fáil has yet to determine its strategy in a constituency that has been the subject of intense media focus in recent months as former minister and councillor Mary Hanafin seeks the party’s nomination.

Her fellow councillors Kate Feeney, Jennifer Cuffe and Cormac Devlin are also seeking the nomination.

While its thought Devlin may have enough support among members to be selected the party may issue a directive to select a female candidate in order to comply with gender quotas.

There is no date as yet for the selection convention but nominations close next Tuesday.

Read: Will these men lose out in Fianna Fáil’s desperate hunt for women?

Read: Does Bertie still hold sway in his old stomping ground?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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