Wednesday 18 September 2019

Perry may make legal bid to overturn FG selection result

John Perry
John Perry

Niall O'Connor

Former minister John Perry has said he may seek a court injunction in a bid to overturn the result of the Fine Gael selection convention for Sligo/Leitrim.

The backbench TD last night spoke for the third time at a party meeting about his anger over not being added to the General Election ticket.

Mr Perry accused the party of "interfering with the democratic process" and claimed Taoiseach Enda Kenny had given a commitment that no sitting TD would be prevented from contesting the election in the spring.

But despite his pleas, the party has so far refused to add him to the ticket.

Mr Perry last night claimed there were a number of "irregularities" in relation to the result of the convention.

One of his allegations is that votes were cast by delegates who were not eligible to do so.

Mr Perry told the Irish Independent last night that he intended to take the matter to a "higher body" and that he was considering seeking a court injunction.

"We are seeking that the convention be reconvened, or that I be added.

"If that doesn't happen, I will consider an injunction and that matter is currently with my lawyers," he said.

Mr Perry criticised unnamed Fine Gael party officials, whom he alleges have "interfered" in the convention process.

He said the episode had been "unprecedented" and that he had received huge support from Fine Gael members.

The former minister for small business, who was sacked by Mr Kenny following the ministerial reshuffle, spoke for several minutes at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting last night.

While Mr Kenny was present at the meeting, neither he nor any other member responded to the criticism.

Last night, a senior Fine Gael source said the party was standing over the result of the convention. The source rejected the allegations being made by Mr Perry.

The TD said the issue would be examined by his legal team in the coming days.

He refused to say if he would run as an Independent if Fine Gael did not add him to the ticket.

Sitting TD Tony McLoughlin and Gerry Reynolds were selected at the convention, with Mr Perry losing out.

Privately, Fine Gael backbenchers are sympathetic to Mr Perry's position, given that the Taoiseach previously assured the parliamentary party that all sitting TDs would be allowed to run.

Irish Independent

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