Thursday 12 December 2019

Hanafin confirms she will run – in defiance of FF party leader

Mary Hanafin . Picture: Gerry Mooney
Mary Hanafin . Picture: Gerry Mooney

Niall O’Connor Political Correspondent

FORMER Minister Mary Hanafin has confirmed that she will contest the local elections for Fianna Fail.

Ms Hanafin today defied party leader Micheal Martin and refused to withdraw her official papers despite a request from Fianna Fail headquarters.

In an extraordinary development, Fianna Fail cannot stop Ms Hanafin from running under the party banner because the deadline has now passed.

General Secretary Sean Dorgan asked Ms Hanafin to run on Wednesday but later tried to row back and revoke her official party affiliation papers.

However, the former Dun Laoghaire TD refused and decided to remain within the race after receiving “strong support” from party members.

“I’ve always been a good party person, I’ve always defended the party,” she told Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One.

“I had been given good reasons, good party reasons, good political reasons to run. And no good reason to pull out,” she added.

Ms Hanafin had considered whether to comply with the request to withdraw but late last night she confirmed to that she will remain on the ticket.

Ms Hanafin says she will now distribute election literature which promotes her running mate Kate Feeney and Fianna Fail’s European candidate in Dublin, Mary Fitzpatrick.

“I had support from members of the parliamentary party, from councillors…who said don’t give in on this one,’” she added.

She said she spoke to Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin about the matter after holding a meeting with Mr Dorgan.

Her refusal to withdraw will cause consternation among some party members and has thrown Mr Martin’s leadership back into the spotlight.

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