FF to slug it out with Fine Gael over Egan
Published 05/02/2014 | 02:30
FIANNA Fail is to enter the race to sign Olympic medalist Kenny Egan as a local election candidate, the Irish Independent has learned.
Senior party figures believe they can deliver a blow to their rivals by convincing the talented boxer to run as a Fianna Fail candidate.
Party strategists are desperately seeking a second candidate to run in the Clondalkin ward and privately believe Egan would be more attracted to Fianna Fail.
The party's director of elections in Dublin, John Curran, knows Mr Egan personally and has considered making a formal approach.
"John knows Kenny personally and certainly we would jump at the chance of him running for us, he'd top the poll, that's for sure," said a senior source.
Egan last night confirmed that he is still considering his options and is holding discussions with his supporters.
However, Fine Gael sources last night dismissed any attempts by Fianna Fail to win over the sportsman and insisted he will run under its party banner in May.
"Kenny is firmly in the blue corner, make no mistake about it. That's nothing short of waffle coming from the Fianna Failers," a minister told the Irish Independent.
Egan (32) has yet to declare but admitted last week that he had been formally approached by Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
Tony Delaney is Fine Gael's only sitting councillor in Clondalkin, however, he has indicated to the party that he intends to step down.
The news prompted Ms Fitzgerald and other local Fine Gael figures to contact Egan about the prospect of running for the party.
Ms Fitzgerald has held a number of "positive conversations" with Egan in recent weeks and is understood to be confident that he will agree to be a party candidate.
Some figures within Fine Gael have suggested that Egan could be in line for a Seanad seat if he impresses as a councillor.
His potential candidacy also received the backing of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who confirmed that talks are under way.
However, Fine Gael is also aware that Egan is sure to be asked during the campaign about his past addiction problems involving alcohol, pornography and escorts.