Tuesday 16 October 2018

Beaten FF candidate hits out at party 'sabotage' of campaign

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

A DEFEATED Fianna Fail election candidate who narrowly failed to take a seat in the Taoiseach's constituency has accused party colleagues of sabotaging her campaign.

Mary Fitzpatrick, daughter of outgoing TD Dermot Fitzpatrick, contested the four-seat Dublin Central along with Mr Ahern and his trusted friend, Cyprian Brady.

Even though she pulled in more than 1,700 first preference votes, she lost out to Mr Brady who was elected on the eighth count despite only polling 939 first preference votes.

Last night the disgruntled councillor accused the party of undermining her by telling householders to give their preferences to the Taoiseach and his constituency worker Mr Brady when voting.

"I never thought they [Fianna Fail] were the Legion of Mary," she told an RTE documentary.

"I never thought they'd do me any favours. I thought my insurance policy was that they needed the second seat.

"So I didn't think they'd go out to completely undermine me and shaft me."

On the night before polling day, Ms Fitzpatrick distributed leaflets to households asking people to vote for her as their first preference.

But when the Taoiseach's campaign team heard about her postal sweep, they launched a counter attack and printed 30,000 letters asking voters to put Mr Ahern number one, and Mr Brady number two.

Mr Ahern's election agent Chris Wall showed little remorse for the early morning letter drop.

"She (Mary Fitzpatrick) was asked not to do this sort of thing (distribute her leaflets).

"Having then done it, she therefore effectively set in train a motion she wasn't going to be able to stop."

Ms Fitzpatrick blamed the Taoiseach's postal strategy for her failure to get elected.

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