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Wednesday 22 November 2017

Dark horses in by-election race

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

A SURPRISE candidate could be selected for the by-election to replace the late Brian Lenihan, Fianna Fail insiders have warned.

Mr Lenihan's General Election running mate, councillor David McGuinness, is the overwhelming favourite to get the nod in Dublin West.

But the result at tonight's convention is by no means regarded as a foregone conclusion -- with strong challenges expected from two others.

Mr McGuinness is a councillor in the Mulhuddart electoral area and lives in Blanchardstown. After running in the General Election, and as the only councillor seeking the nomination, the 25-year-old is widely tipped to win the convention.

But some of Mr Lenihan's old supporters are thought to favour a candidate based in his former stomping ground of Castleknock. Mr Lenihan's former director of elections Edward McManus and his last election agent Michael Gilvarry are being mooted as outside bets.

Mr McManus runs a pharmacy in Ballymun, but he lives in Castleknock. He is a former member of the Fianna Fail national executive and served as Mr Lenihan's director of elections in the 2007 campaign.

Mr Gilvarry is a barrister and lives in the area. He was Mr Lenihan's election agent in February's election.

Irish Independent

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