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Friday 26 May 2017

Labour TD's son fails to get election nomination

Stephen Dunne and Niall O'Connor

THE son of a prominent Labour TD has failed to win a party nomination to run in the next general election, losing out to his mother's personal assistant.

Ronan McManus -- son of the retiring Wicklow TD Liz McManus -- was defeated yesterday by Anne Ferris at the party's convention. The well-known councillor Nicky Kelly had earlier withdrawn his name from the party's election convention, criticising the party for promoting political dynasties.

Mr McManus had been favourite to win the nomination.

However, campaign sources have indicated that the competition was marred by "in-fighting" after Mr McManus decided to seek the party's approval with only limited experience. It is understood that the Bray branch of the party, a previous stronghold of Ms McManus, was split into opposing camps.

Divisions

Speaking after his defeat at the Glenview Hotel in Wicklow, Mr McManus said there were no "major" divisions in the party.

"We'll all be united behind Anne to make sure we get two if not three candidates returned to Dail Eireann," he said

It is understood that a significant number of former supporters of Ms McManus indicated to Ms Ferris in the run-up to the convention that they would offer their support to her.

Earlier yesterday, in a letter to senior figures in the party, Mr Kelly, an Arklow county councillor, accused the party of being "undemocratic" and promoting "nepotism".

"My supporters view the manipulations as totally undemocratic and promoting nepotism and dynasties," he said.

Mr Kelly also said that his years of service to the party counted for little and were "bypassed" by "opportunism and (an) imbalanced convention".

Labour's three candidates who will go forward for election are Conal Kavanagh, a county councillor and son of former minister Liam, the chairman of the county council Tom Fortune and Ms Ferris.

Irish Independent

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