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Thanks but no thanks: Bruton and Dunphy both rebuff FG

Former Taoiseach John Bruton has no interest in the presidency, while Eamon Dunphy turned down TWO by-election offers.

Image: Phil Noble/Niall Carson, PA

INVITATIONS TO RUN on the Fine Gael ticket have been snubbed by both John Bruton and Eamon Dunphy in recent months, according to reports today.

Today’s Sunday Times reports that Bruton (63), a former Taoiseach and more recently the EU’s ambassador to Washington, had refused to rule himself out of the running in recent interviews – but told senior party officers that he had no interest in accepting the party ticket.

Bruton, who was recently appointed honorary vice-president of the party after Alan Dukes resigned to take up a role at Anglo Irish Bank, is understood to have decided he would rather concentrate on his new post as chairman of IFSC Ireland, a newly-formed umbrella body for the financial services sector in Ireland.

It was that role, and not any desire to put himself back in the public eye, that had motivated his recent statements on the economy and Ireland’s financial affairs, the paper quotes a source as saying.

It is understood in that light that Bruton has refused to rule himself out purely because he would still be interested in the job, but only if he was an unopposed choice from the entire party – unlikely given the designs that MEPs Mairead McGuinness and Sean Kelly have the job.

The Times also reports that football pundit and broadcaster Eamon Dunphy also rebuffed advances from the party to run under its banner, saying that he had held two meetings with party hacks about the prospect of running as a running mate to Lucinda Creighton in Dublin South East, where John Gormley’s Green Party seat is presumed to be under threat.

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After Dunphy poured cold water on that idea, he was then offered the Fine Gael nomination for the Dublin South by-election, which arises after the resignation of George Lee earlier this year.

Dunphy, who was a member of the party in the 1980s, declined to comment on the paper, but a party source told the paper that they had not anticipated the meetings to have led to a significant deal.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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