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The contenders

How they're selling themselves to the party faithful

Micheal Martin

  • Fianna Fail must be completely reformed and reorganised after the election.
  • He demonstrated leadership last week by taking on Brian Cowen in the confidence vote.
  • He has a history of standing up to vested interests -- such as the tobacco lobby when he introduced the smoking ban.

Brian Lenihan

  • The task of leading Fianna Fail must soon pass to a younger generation, but he will rebuild the party after the election.
  • Has the economic experience to lead in an election where the economy will be central issue.
  • He would be "a straight-talking, decisive moderniser in the Lemass mould".

Eamon O Cuiv:

  • Rebuild the party from its grassroots.
  • Says he has understanding of urban and rural Ireland, having spent his childhood in Dublin and adult life in Galway.
  • Jokes that he belongs to the "left wing" of Fianna Fail and believes the party ethos should be about "ordinary people" not the "great and the good".

Mary Hanafin:

  • Fianna Fail should have a balanced approach between social and economic issues.
  • She would travel throughout the country to rebuild the party after the election.
  • Encourage more young people and women to get involved to make FF a "movement" not just a party.

Irish Independent