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New base for FF as parties set up campaign HQs

Fianna Fail won't be back in Treasury Buildings -- the headquarters for its last two general election victories -- for the 2011 campaign starting next week.

The political parties are all setting up their campaign headquarters this weekend in advance of Taoiseach Brian Cowen firing the starting gun on Tuesday.

Fine Gael is returning to the Fitzwilliam Hall office block it occupied in the 2007 campaign. The landmark former Bank of Ireland building is located beside Leeson Street bridge.

The campaign HQ comprises a suite of offices and a press centre, with a restaurant in the basement.

The Labour Party is moving to a new Dublin city centre location, with offices on Golden Lane. The offices and media centre even boasts a rooftop balcony and a back garden.

Located just around the corner from the Radisson Hotel, it is a step up from the last campaign when the party was based over a fast-food restaurant.

The Green Party will be using its existing headquarters on Suffolk Street, and Sinn Fein will be locating their campaign HQ in the party's permanent offices on Parnell Square.

Fianna Fail is moving into an office block beside its headquarters on Mount Street. In the 2002 and 2007 campaigns, the party was based in Treasury Buildings on Grand Canal Street.

Owned by property developers Richard Barrett and Johnny Ronan's Treasury Holdings, the building houses the National Treasury Management Agency and now NAMA.


Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin is due to announce the identity of the party's director of elections any day now.

Mr Martin has been in his party headquarters over recent days examining the line-up of candidates and threatening to make changes to tickets.

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The new leader has indicated he will make another attempt to get cabinet ministers Mary Hanafin or Barry Andrews to move constituencies for the general election.

But Ms Hanafin said yesterday it was "not feasible" for her to move from Dun Laoghaire to Dublin South.

"I have no family connections or link with Dublin South. I'm not an asset to Dublin South," she said.

The minister also admitted she would be interested in the job as deputy party leader of Fianna Fail -- but insisted that it would be down to Mr Martin to decide.

She said she "hadn't a clue" who was in the running for the role as the leader hadn't given any indication. "It's entirely his choice," she added.