Sunday 4 December 2016

Divisions in Donegal Fianna Fáil 'could lead to a split'

Published 06/10/2015 | 02:30

Former MEP Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher and sitting TD Charlie McConalogue have recieved the backing of the County Convention
Former MEP Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher and sitting TD Charlie McConalogue have recieved the backing of the County Convention

Bitter divisions within Fianna Fáil could lead to a split in the party, senior members have warned.

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Attempts to have Councillor James Pat McDaid included on the ballot paper for the new five-seat Donegal constituency have failed, with former MEP Pat 'the Cope' Gallagher and sitting TD Charlie McConalogue receiving the backing of the County Convention.

Cllr Seamus O'Domhnaill, who withdrew from the race after being nominated, was jeered by party members from Fanad, where supporters of former TD Niall Blaney have backed Gallagher.

"It was very disappointing to hear that reaction," said Cllr O'Domhnaill.

"I believe people like James Pat McDaid are the future of our party and we need people like him going forward."

It means Fianna Fáil could go into the election battle without a candidate in the Letterkenny area, where almost 30pc of the county resides. Gallagher is based in west Donegal, while McConalogue is from north Inishowen. McDaid supporters want party leader Micheál Martin to add his name to the ticket.

"There's open talk of a split," said one senior party member. "An independent candidate cut from Fianna Fáil cloth will stand if HQ doesn't act."

Irish Independent

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