25-year-old councillor to defend Lenihan's Dail seat
Published 14/09/2011 | 05:00
A 25-year-old county councillor has been chosen by Fianna Fail to try and hold the late Brian Lenihan's Dail seat.
Following a vote at the party's convention to pick a candidate for the Dublin West by-election, David McGuinness was neck-and-neck with Edward MacManus, a 45-year-old phar- macist who was previously Mr Lenihan's director of elections.
There were five names before the convention, but three withdrew at the last minute and Mr McGuinness and Mr MacManus received 25 votes each.
The party's rules dictate that when there is a tie, lots must be drawn. When the draw was made, Mr McGuinness won.
Dublin West was the only seat Fianna Fail won in the capital in the general election in February.
Despite only polling 623 first preferences in the general election, or 1.47pc, Mulhuddart-based Mr McGuinness last night insisted he could still win the October 27 contest.
Mr McGuinness, from Blanchardstown, is one of Fianna Fail's youngest councillors and works as a teacher in Riversdale Community College in the constituency.
Leader Micheal Martin, who attended the convention, said FF would be conscious of the work done by the Mr Lenihan when campaigning for the by-election.
"By-elections are always quite different to general elections, they can be surprising in terms of the results," Mr Martin said. "We're going to give this one hell of a fight."
Labour councillor Patrick Nulty, who opposed entering coalition with Fine Gael, is currently the favourite to win the seat.