Monday 24 June 2019

Crisis for Martin as Lenihans opt out of election

Fianna Fail faces being left without a seat in capital

Brian Lenihan's daughter Clare and son Tom, at his funeral at St Mochta's Church in Dublin last June. Tom has decided not to run in the by-election to fill the seat of the former Finance Minister.

Sam Smyth

BRIAN Lenihan's family will not put forward a candidate for the late Finance Minster's Dail seat in Dublin West -- giving beleaguered leader Micheal Martin a massive headache in his bid to hold on to the party's only seat in the capital.

For the first time in 34 years, no member of the Lenihan family will stand for election in Dublin West. This by-election was triggered by Mr Lenihan's death in June.

Family sources said that Tom Lenihan, the late minister's 20-year-old son, would not be standing for the seat first won by his grandfather in 1977.

And his brother, former junior minister Conor Lenihan, who lost his seat in February's general election, told the Irish Independent he would not be a candidate.

Mr Lenihan, now living in Moscow, said: "I have no plan to re-enter political life in the short to medium future."

The by-election is expected to be held on October 27, the same day as the presidential election.

The end of the current political dynasty underlines how toxic the Fianna Fail name remains with the electorate and highlights the massive task Mr Martin has to turn the party around.

It comes in the wake of Mr Martin's attempt to offer to support Gay Byrne for the presidency -- a move that backfired

Irish Independent

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