FF snubs Brian Lenihan’s sister as McGuinness selected to contest Dublin West by-election
FIANNA FAIL has selected councillor David McGuinness to contest the Dublin West by-election triggered by the resignation of Labour’s Patrick Nulty.
Mr McGuinness, who is a teacher in Lucan, Co Dublin, defeated Brian Lenihan’s sister Anita and Edward McManus to win the nomination at the selection convention tonight.
Anita Lenihan had been widely tipped to get the nod in the constituency where brother Brian held the seat from 2006 until his death in 2011. One senior FF source said earlier this month: "There is a strong desire to have a Lenihan on the ticket, given the history there."
She was encouraged to run in 2011 – but sources have said she was reluctant to put her name forward at that time. However, she has been very involved in the local Fianna Fail organisation in Dublin West.
FF leader Micheál Martin congratulated Cllr McGuinness on his win tonight, saying: “This is an extremely important election. Dublin West is a very diverse constituency and decisions taken by Fine Gael and Labour over the last three years have had a major impact on families.
"The unfair property tax, cuts to child benefit, cuts to medical cards and deeply cynical broken promises have disproportionately hit households across Dublin West. On top of all this, these families now face hundreds of euro in new water charges from January."
Councillor McGuinness said: “I am delighted to have been selected by party members to contest this by-election. This is a constituency where too many people have borne the brunt of this Government's deeply unfair policy agenda and it requires a TD who is prepared to stand up this agenda.”
It now seems likely the poll in Dublin West will be held on May 23, the same day as the local and European elections.
Mr Nulty dramatically resigned his seat on March 22 after he admitted sending inappropriate messages via social media to a 17-year-old girl, while under the influence of alcohol.