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'Politics is a bug that you can't kill, but hopefully I'll be able to kill it eventually'

Seán Haughey talked Deirdre Heney, his election hopes and his political obsession today.

Seán Haughey in TheJournal.ie's offices in Dublin today
Seán Haughey in TheJournal.ie's offices in Dublin today
Image: TheJournal.ie

SEÁN HAUGHEY DIDN’T expect he’d be attempting a political comeback when he lost his Dáil seat in 2011. But having been controversially added to the Fianna Fáil ticket in Dublin Bay North he’s prepared to give it one last go.

The Dublin city councillor and son of the late Charlie Haughey was added to the party ticket last week much to the annoyance of councillor Deirdre Heney who narrowly defeated him at the local selection convention.

Heney, who was selected by party members in June, described the decision as “sad and awful” and was heavily critical of party leader Micheál Martin in various media interviews.

She believed Haughey’s friendship with the Fianna Fáil leader and their membership of the “old boys brigade” as having led to the decision.

Nothing of the sort, insisted Haughey in a wide-ranging interview with TheJournal.ie today:

Source: Cianan Brennan/TheJournal.ie/YouTube

I don’t consider myself old at 53 years of age. No, I don’t think there was an ‘old boys brigade’ operating in this instance.

Haughey described the public squabble as “a little bit unseemly” and insisted that Martin was on the record as saying it was solely the Fianna Fáil national constituencies committee’s decision to add him to the ticket.

However, the former junior minister did say that since January he had been encouraged by party HQ to contest the general election on the basis of research it had undertaken showing he could win the seat.

They just said that my own particular percentage had me there or thereabouts taking the seat.

Despite a speculative tweet, as he waited to see if he was being added to the ticket, Haughey insisted he never contemplated leaving Fianna Fáil and running as an independent.

haughey

I don’t think, with my history and heritage, I would ever leave the party fold.

But given so many Fianna Fáil ministers who lost their seats in 2011 decided to retire from politics altogether, why has Haughey decided to give it another ago?

“I’m a divil for punishment really,” he explained. “Public service is what I do, I’ve done it all my life.”

Haughey said this would be his final attempt win back his Dáil seat and added that he does not see himself staying in Leinster House indefinitely if elected.

You never say never in politics. I didn’t actually envisage myself running for the general election after the 2011 defeat, but it’s kind of in the blood and it’s a bug that you can’t kill, but hopefully I’ll be able to kill the bug eventually.

There’ll be more from our interview with Sean Haughey on TheJournal.ie this weekend including what he really thought of ‘Charlie’ and his father’s legacy.

Originally published 9.30pm

‘Sad and awful’: Haughey return sparks anger at Micheál Martin

Read: Deirdre Heney has been selected as the Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Bay North

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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