Mayor quits FG in quota row
A TOWN mayor who has been a member of Fine Gael for over 35 years has resigned from the party.
Pat Hussey said he was the only candidate for the local elections to have "fallen foul" of the gender quota and was angry with the party because of this.
Mr Hussey, who is mayor of Tralee, said his resignation had been accepted by FG chairman Charlie Flanagan.
Mr Hussey had been considering his future in the party since he withdrew his name from a selection convention for the Tralee electoral area in November.
A directive from the Fine Gael executive council had stipulated that one of the three candidates selected had to be a woman.
Mr Hussey withdrew his name in protest to this.
He also expressed his disappointed that Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan – for whom he said he had "worn out shoe leather" canvassing – had not been in contact with him since the convention.
Mr Hussey, who had supported Richard Bruton in the heave against Enda Kenny, said he felt this could have "gone against" him.
He said he also feared a "high-profile" name would be added to the ticket in Tralee.