A FORMER associate of Bertie Ahern has been selected to run for Fine Gael in the local elections.
Patrick Martin says he is "hopeful" of winning a seat in Mr Ahern's former stronghold of Dublin's North Inner City.
The 27-year-old quit Fianna Fail after the last general election having previously canvassed for Mr Ahern and former TD Cyprian Brady.
Mr Martin has now joined Fine Gael and will contest the local elections alongside the party's sitting councillor Ray McAdam. Mr Martin rejected suggestions that his connections with the ex-Taoiseach would damage his hopes.
"I've been working hard and am getting a good reaction on the ground," he said.
The news of Mr Martin's candidacy was criticised by his former Fianna Fail branch last night. Local candidate Brian Mohan said Mr Martin had "slated" Fine Gael in the past.