Sunday 23 October 2016

Former minister 'may seek court injunction' in bid to overturn Fine Gael selection result

Published 18/11/2015 | 22:43

John Perry
John Perry

FORMER minister John Perry has said he may seek a court injunction in a bid to overturn the result of the Fine Gael selection convention on Sligo/Leitrim.

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The backbench TD has spoken for the third time in as many weeks at a party meeting about his anger over not being added to the General Election.

Mr Perry accused the party of "interfering the democratic process" and claimed Taoiseach Enda Kenny had given a commitment that no sitting TD would be prevented from contesting the election in the spring.

But despite his pleas, the party has so far refused to add him to the ticket.

Mr Perry claimed there were a number of "irregularities" in relation to the result of the convention. One of his allegations is that votes were cast by delegates who were not eligible to do so.

Mr Perry told the Irish Independent that he intends to take the matter to a "higher body" and that he is considering seeking a court injunction.

"We are seeking that the convention be reconvened, or that I be added. If that doesn't happen, I will consider an injunction and that matter is currently with my lawyers," he said.

Mr Perry criticised unnamed Fine Gael party officials who he alleges have "interfered" in the convention process.

He said the episode has been "unprecedented" and that he has received huge support from Fine Gael members.

The former Minister for Small Business, who was sacked by Mr Kenny following the ministerial reshuffle, spoke for several minutes at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday night.

While Mr Kenny was present at the meeting, neither he nor any other member responded to the criticism.

A senior Fine Gael source said the party is standing over the result of the convention. The source rejected the allegations being made by Mr Perry.

The TD said the issue will be examined by his legal team in the coming days. He refused to say if he will run as an independent if Fine Gael do not add him to the ticket.

Sitting TD Tony McLoughlin and Gerry Reynolds were selected at the convention with Mr Perry losing out.

Privately, Fine Gael backbenchers are sympathetic with Mr Perry's position given that the Taoiseach previously assured the parliamentary party that all sitting TDs would be allowed to run.

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