independent

Friday 31 October 2014

Fianna Fáil vote is being investigated

Donal Nolan

Published 30/10/2013 | 05:36

FIANNA Fáil party headquarters is looking into a complaint surrounding voting procedures at the recent convention in Listowel at which John Brassil and Jimmy Moloney were selected to contest next year's local elections.

FIANNA Fáil party headquarters is looking into a complaint surrounding voting procedures at the recent convention in Listowel at which John Brassil and Jimmy Moloney were selected to contest next year's local elections.

The complaint centres on an allegation that a number of delegates who voted at the convention were newly-introduced members of the party who should have been subject to a waiting period before being allowed vote on candidates.

Some candidates who failed to secure a place on the party's ticket for the Listowel area are concerned the addition of these new delegates may have distorted the overall result.

The Listowel electoral area - comprising most of rural north Kerry - was broken into two separate areas in a new move by the party on the night of the convention - rural and urban.

Kerry County Councillor John Brassil emerged victorious from the rural vote with Mayor of Listowel Jimmy Moloney winning the urban ballot on 27 votes. Former senator Dan Kiely and Ballyheigue woman Ann Murphy lost out to John Brassil, with Listowel town councillors Maria Gorman and Tom Walsh losing out to Mayor Moloney.

It was the first time that members of the party in north Kerry voted under the new 'one man, one vote' system Fianna Fáil introduced recently to make internal selections more democratic. Previously, only selected delegates from each of the party's numerous cumainn would have voted.

But the system has raised deep concerns for a number of party members in north Kerry. The official complaint lodged with Fianna Fáil headquarters this week alleges that a number of delegates on the night should not have had a vote.

The Kerryman understands that all candidates were required to ratify lists of local Fianna Fáil members ahead of the convention as part of the transfer process to the new 'one man, one vote' system. Long-standing members simply transferred over with full membership rights, but newly-introduced members were required to go on a waiting list before achieving full status.

One source within the party told The Kerryman they believe a number of people who voted on the night should not have been in a position to have done so as they had just joined the party prior to the convention.

Kerryman

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