Sunday 15 September 2019

Fine Gael TD John Perry makes another plea to colleagues for General Election ticket

John Perry
John Perry

Kevin Doyle, Group Political Editor

Fine Gael TD John Perry has made another plea to his colleagues to allow him be added as a third candidate in the Sligo-Leitrim constituency.

The former junior minister addressed a meeting of Fine Gael TDs and senators for the second week in a row tonight, saying afterwards that he still had “every confidence” he would be added to the ticket.

Mr Perry was presented with a report on behalf of the parliamentary party’s representatives on the Fine Gael National Executive in response to a motion he placed before them last week.

In that motion he called for an explanation from TDs who sit on the party’s executive council as to why he wasn’t being added to the ticket.

The motion also named Mark Mortell,  who is a close advisor to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and asked what role he had in the events which saw him lose out at a recent convention.

Mr Perry, who has been a TD since 1997, was defeated by sitting TD Tony McLoughlin and former deputy Gerry Reynolds at convention last month.

Speaking on behalf of the executive members Kildare TD Martin Heydon told the meeting that Mr Mortell played no role in candidate selection.

Mr Perry described the report as "comprehensive” and said he would need to time to study it.

In a brief address he reiterated his view that as a result of a directive from party headquarters, Sligo was limited to one Fine Gael candidate for the coming general election.

But he pointed out that the county had delivered two Fine Gael seats in the last election. He also emphasised that a three candidate strategy is the better option to ensure that Fine Gael win two seats in the next election.

He asked his colleagues for “loyalty” and said that they had been through difficult times together in the past, adding that for years their party room was a small basement room with no windows.

Now the party room is a large fifth floor room with views over Dublin city. “ But whether good times of bad times, we travelled the journey together, we had our differences at times, but when the chips were down, it was loyalty to the party and to each other that prevailed,” he said.

In a comment after the meeting Mr Perry said he still had "every confidence that his name will be added to the ticket".

He has also requested a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny to discuss the situation.

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