Friday 24 January 2020

Brennan quits Anglo to fight for dad's seat

Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

THE son of the late Seamus Brennan is determined to win back his father's seat in Dublin South at the second attempt -- after giving up his job in Anglo Irish Bank.

Shay Brennan said he was never going to say the by-election, which will be held following the resignation of Fine Gael's George Lee, was "not winnable".

"I'm more experienced second time out and the playing field is more level -- it's not skewed by celebrities," he said.

Mr Brennan, who finished in third place in last year's by-election with 9,250 first preference votes, said he believed he would be in the shake-up for the seat despite Fianna Fail's record unpopularity in the opinion polls.

"Anything can happen in an election. This one looks like being some time off -- the earliest I've heard is October -- and people are starting to see that the difficult and tough decisions being taken by Fianna Fail are starting to get the economy on track," he said.

Mr Brennan has taken redundancy from Anglo Irish Bank, which he had applied for last November before Mr Lee's resignation. He said it was possible that his work at the bank -- which had to be nationalised due to its reckless property lending -- had harmed his chances the last time out.

"I don't think it was very favourable but I think we explained it very well and very clearly, the fact I was part of the treasury business as opposed to lending," he said.

Mr Brennan is hoping to be selected by his party to run again. He said that he had been keeping active in the Dublin South constituency in anticipation of a general election in 2012.

"We're back to the polls sooner than we thought," he said.

He was asked how much of a motivating factor it was for him to win back the seat which his father had held continuously since 1981 until his death in 2008 at the age of 60.


"I got a lot of stick in the by-election campaign, mainly about how this was a dynastic thing. But as we've seen from somebody who is entirely new to politics, and making his decision to leave after nine months, when they say politics is in the blood, it is in the blood," he said.

In a clear criticism of Mr Lee, Mr Brennan said Fine Gael's chances in the forthcoming by-election had been damaged by the RTE journalist's departure.

"I think Fine Gael showed very bad judgment in their choice of candidate and the residents of Dublin South, being dragged back to the polls again, are not going to thank Fine Gael for making that decision," he said.

Irish Independent

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