FF cancels ceremony in area hit by row over Hanafin
FIANNA Fail has postponed an annual commemoration that was due to take place in the fractious Blackrock electoral area in Dublin this weekend.
Party leader Micheal Martin had been due to give a graveside address at the annual event, scheduled for this Sunday at the Deansgrange Cemetery in south Dublin.
However, party members were informed by text this week that a decision to postpone the event had been taken by the local party comhairle and that the ceremony would now be held later this summer.
"Unfortunately, it has become necessary to postpone this Sunday's Lemass commemoration until July. Apologies for any inconvenience," the text stated.
No reason was given in the text for the last-minute decision to postpone the commemoration.
Party members were left stunned last weekend when former Education Minister Mary Hanafin announced that she would be running in the local elections in the Blackrock electoral area – the same area as Kate Feeney, who is the president of the party's youth wing.
It has since emerged Mr Martin repeatedly attempted to get his former cabinet colleague to withdraw her name from the running for a council seat in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. She is now the subject of an internal Fianna Fail committee over her decision to defy party orders.
Last night, a party spokesperson played down the decision to postpone the event. In a statement to the Irish Independent, the spokesperson insisted the party leader had been forced to cancel because of another engagement already scheduled.
"Party leader Micheal Martin was due to give a speech at the Sean Lemass commemoration this weekend. However, due to the emergence of a personal engagement in Cork, he was unable to attend and a decision was taken last week to postpone the event.
"The commemoration is a matter for the local comhairle ceantair and is not a national event. It will be rescheduled later in the year."
The ceremony honours the former Taoiseach and Fianna Fail party leader who died in May 1971. It will now be held in July.