Fianna Fail row: Cllr Deirdre Heney says 'old boys brigade alive and kicking' in Fianna Fail after Sean Haughey decision for Dublin Bay North
Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Heney has said the decision to add former minister Sean Haughey to the party ticket in Dublin Bay North shows "old boys brigade is alive and kicking" in the party.
However, she said she will not allow the move to "get in the way of my efforts to meet the needs of voters" in the constituency.
The prominent Dublin City councillor was left shocked by the decision to add Mr Haughey, who she defeated at the selection convention.
The decision was communicated to Ms Heney by party headquarters this evening. She was out canvassing when she received a phone call informing her of the news.
Speaking to independent.ie, Ms Heney said the move could cost the party a seat in the highly competitive constituency.
"The most worrying and awful thing is that this shows that the old boys brigade is alive and kicking in Fianna Fáil," Ms Heney said.
And she rounded on party leader Micheal Martin, accusing him of backing Mr Haughey because of their friendship.
"I was selected fairly and squarely after winning convention. But now, for a second time, he (Haughey) has been added on top of me, as what happened in the locals," she added.
"But one thing is for sure, I won't let the friendship between Micheal Martin and Sean Haughey get in the way of my efforts to serve the needs of voters in Dublin Bay North," she added
Michael Moynihan TD, who is chairman of Fianna Fail's National Constituencies Committee, confirmed the decision of the committee to add Sean Haughey - who is the son of late taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader Charles Haughey - to the ticket.
"He will join Cllr Deirdre Heney who is an outstanding public representative, with over 16 years’ service to Dublin City Council. Deirdre is an excellent candidate and is already running a very vigorous election campaign in communities across Dublin Bay North," Mr Moynihan said.
Read more here: One-candidate strategy best hopes for FF to win seat
"Cllr Haughey was elected to Dublin City Council for Fianna Fáil in May of last year. He has previously served as a TD and Minister of State.
"With Cllr’s Deirdre Heney and Seán Haughey, Fianna Fáil has an extremely strong ticket in the newly drawn Dublin Bay North. Both candidates have a proven track record as outstanding public servants with strong links to communities in the constituency. I am confident that together they will provide excellent representation for the people of Dublin Bay North."
Ms Heney was selected to contest the election for Fianna Fail at a selection convention in June, and defeated Mr Haughey in the process.
Read more here: Just two votes in it as Heney beats Haughey
At the time, it was understood the party had adopted a one candidate policy for Dublin Bay North, meaning the party's resources and support would have been entirely behind Cllr Heney.