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Fitzpatrick loses yet another tight contest

FIANNA Fail's Mary Fitzpatrick has narrowly lost out in another election -- and this time it has nothing to do with Bertie Ahern.

Ms Fitzpatrick was one of Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin's chosen 10 in the Seanad contest but she just failed to make the cut on the administrative panel yesterday.

The Dublin city councillor was beaten by party colleagues Diarmuid Wilson and Mark Daly, who were both left off Mr Martin's list of preferred candidates but were still elected.

Ms Fitzpatrick has twice run for the Dail in Dublin Central, and was famously shafted by Mr Ahern's 'Drumcondra Mafia' in 2007 when Cyprian Brady was elected on the former Taoiseach's massive surplus.

Both Ms Fitzpatrick and Mr Brady ran in this year's general election, but she lost out to Sinn Fein's Mary-Lou McDonald in the battle for the last seat in the four-seat constituency. Mr Brady did not get elected either.

And Ms Fitzpatrick was beaten to the final available Seanad seat yesterday by Labour south Tipperary councillor Denis Landy.

Ms Fitzpatrick was unavailable for comment and her loss means only one female from Mr Martin's list -- Averil Power -- has made it to the Seanad.


Veteran Fianna Fail senator Mary White was re-elected, making only two women in the entire Fianna Fail parliamentary party.

Fianna Fail's final tally of 14 Seanad seats was greater than expected, although the party still lost eight seats.

However, Mr Martin's strategy of pushing his favoured 10 over older candidates achieved mixed results, with only five of those on his list getting returned.

Former Fine Gael TDs Michael D'Arcy and Tom Sheahan were also elected to the Seanad on the administrative panel yesterday, as was Fine Gael Clare councillor Martin Conway. Labour's John Kelly picked up a Seanad seat, as did Mr Landy, his party colleague.

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