Tuesday 20 March 2018

Fine Gael order report to see what went wrong with Mitchell election bid

Lyndsey Telford

Fine Gael has announced plans to examine what went wrong with Gay Mitchell's disastrous campaign for the presidency.

TDs agreed at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting last night that chairman Charlie Flanagan would complete a report on the campaign this month.

The aim is to learn from the lacklustre experience, which saw Mr Mitchell take just 6.4% of first preference votes on Friday.

"The party has discussed the matter and a number of different views were expressed," Mr Flanagan said.

"As is customary after each election - good, bad or indifferent - I have been commissioned, as director of elections, to prepare a report on the campaign.

"I will do this in the coming weeks."

There was much speculation during the presidential campaign that Mr Mitchell did not have the full support of his party.

Ultimately, he finished in fourth position - at a distance behind President-elect Michael D Higgins, runner-up Sean Gallagher and third-placed Martin McGuinness.

At tonight's meeting, Mr Flanagan said members had also discussed the situation in Greece and the eurozone crisis.

"This was discussed in far more depth tonight and remains the primary concern of anyone who has Ireland's best interests at heart," he said.

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