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Fianna Fail to pin hopes on sole candidate

FIANNA Fail in Donegal North East was left in disarray for a second time this week when it emerged yesterday that just one candidate would contest the general election.

It has been a week of turmoil following the shock resignation of Niall Blaney just before the selection convention last Sunday night at which councillor Charlie McConalogue was selected from the Inishowen peninsula.

But there was clear indication that a second candidate would be put on the ticket to replace Mr Blaney, with councillor Dessie Larkin emerging as an uncontested favourite.

However, party headquarters communicated the decision that just one candidate would go forward to represent the party.

It also emerged that former TD Dr James McDaid had been approached behind the scenes and asked to run.

A devastated Dessie Larkin last night ruled out running as an Independent candidate but could not conceal his disappointment at being rejected as a potential candidate.

"I am heartened by the level of support I have received but I will be staying where I am.

"Obviously someone up in Dublin believes that myself and Charlie McConalogue's vote would be too close.

"But the way I see it, it is an example of another bad decision by Fianna Fail," he said.

Ironically, the news came on the day of the publication of an online local poll that put Mr Larkin in the running for one of the three seats.

The 'Inishowen News' poll had Sinn Fein's Padraig MacLochlainn on top with 149 votes, followed by Mr Larkin with 108 votes and Labour councillor Jimmy Harte with 100 votes.

Irish Independent