Power election bid to cause headache for Fianna Fáil
Former Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power is set to cause more headaches for Micheál Martin with her decision to stand as an Independent candidate in the general election.
Ms Power confirmed yesterday she will be running in the next election in the Dublin Bay North constituency after months of speculation following her shock decision to quit Fianna Fáil.
She now joins the ticket in an already highly competitive new five-seat constituency.
Fine Gael is running three candidates, with Jobs Minister Richard Bruton joined by councillor Naoise Ó Muirí and Stephanie Regan.
The other sitting TDs contesting are Labour Party junior minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Independent Tommy Broughan and Finian McGrath and Renua's Terence Flanagan.
Sinn Féin councillors Micheál MacDonncha and Denise Mitchell are strongly in contention.
Fianna Fáil is running councillor Deirdre Heney. But speculation is mounting the party will add Sean Haughey to the ticket after he lost the selection convention to Ms Heney.
The decision to run two candidates could split the Fianna Fáil vote. However, party officials yesterday insisted no decision has been made.
The new constituency came from the mergers of the traditional Dublin North-East and Dublin North-Central.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms Power said she retained the majority of her election team after she quit Fianna Fáil, claiming the party had failed to throw its full support behind the same-sex marriage referendum.
"I know a lot of my support base has been incredibly loyal since I left Fianna Fáil," she said.
"I have been getting constant messages from people who say they agree with my decision and that they will continue to support me."
Sources said around 55 members based in Ms Power's constituency quit Fianna Fáil after her departure.
Ms Power said she did not want her campaign to focus on her fallout with the Fianna Fáil leadership.
Apart from Sinn Féin, she said she would not rule out supporting future governments if they were focused on introducing social justice policies.