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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Micheál Martin

Another failed Fianna Fáil candidate had a big go at Micheál Martin tonight

More headaches for the Fianna Fáil leader as a de-selected candidate hits out.

A FIANNA FÁIL councillor who failed to win the party’s nomination to run in the general election last night has heavily criticised Micheál Martin.

David McGuinness told RTÉ’s Drivetime that “fundamentally the issue of Micheál leading the party is on the lips of every single member in Dublin West”.

He said he did not know where the party is going under the former minister.

McGuinness, who twice failed to win by-elections in the constituency, was beaten by fellow Fingal county councillor Jack Chambers in a controversial selection convention in Dublin West last night.

Dublin West By Elections Results Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland David McGuinness Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Recalling a conversation he had with Martin on the phone last night, McGuinness did not hold back, saying:

“I told him out straight, I don’t know where Fianna Fáil is going, I don’t know who they are trying to represent. I told him there and then – I said there is going to be a huge cross-section of society across Dublin West who would have serious reservations about voting for the party on this basis.”

McGuinness failed to hold Brian Lenihan’s old Dáil seat for Fianna Fáil in a by-election when the former finance minister died in 2011. He also failed to win a by-election held last year following the resignation of independent TD Patrick Nulty over a Facebook messages scandal.

Having failed to secure his party’s nomination to run for the Dáil for a third time McGuinness said that the party does not “seem to have a strategy”.

“We don’t have a vision for the party. We don’t know who it is trying to attract in the electorate, and I don’t know how we are going to win back seats, particularly in Dublin, with this type of politics,” he said. 

McGuinness said that he was not particularly surprised that he was not selected.

He claimed he was at “the brunt end of a class divide” in Dublin West where some members in the Castleknock part of the constituency did not want to vote for him.

jackchambers-2-2 Conor McCabe Jack Chambers Conor McCabe

Of last night’s meeting of around 400 Fianna Fáil members in the area, McGuinness said: “One of the things the membership in that room had actually in common last night was that they were against me. But they are certainly against him [Martin].”

McGuinness is the second by-election candidate in this Dáil to fail to get elected and subsequently criticise Martin.

Last December, failed Roscommon-South Leitrim by-election candidate Ivan Connaughton called on Martin to go.

Speaking on the same programme this evening, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Niall Collins said that it was “not the case” that Micheál Martin’s leadership was on members’ lips.

He said that McGuinness had been beaten by Chambers “in a fairly open, democratic process”.

About last night: Jack Chambers has defeated David McGuinness in Dublin West selection

Read: There’s a big row over the battle to win back Brian Lenihan’s old seat for Fianna Fáil

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