Monday 19 November 2018

It's Royston, but watch out for Aimee the outsider in FF race

Senan Molony

FORMER Dublin Lord Mayor Royston Brady and the Taoiseach's niece have emerged as the Fianna Fail front-runners for the North Dublin constituency.

Supporters of outgoing TD Jim Glennon believe his retirement may have opened the door for Brady.

Royston, a former member of Bertie Ahern's inner circle, has been out of politics for two years since his dramatic blow-up in the European elections.

"I haven't ruled anything in or out," said Brady, who has been living in the constituency with his wife Michelle and one child since moving out of the Mansion House.

"But I am available if the party needs to knock on my door."

There are also whispers of yet another addition to the Ahern dynasty, with the name of Aimee Ahern bandied about.

She is a daughter of the Taoiseach's older brother, former Lord Mayor and current party councillor Maurice.

Aimee Ahern lives in Malahide, but has little political experience. Now a 35-year-old auditor, she unsuccessfully sought a Fianna Fail nomination at a selection convention in Dublin North Central in 1996.

Royston Brady has been the subject of speculation within Fianna Fail after the surprise Glennon announcement, which follows the decision of party colleague GV Wright to step down thus wiping out two existing FF seats at a stroke.

Fianna Fail has selected two councillors as candidates in the constituency, where they ran a slate of three last time out. Michael Kennedy and Darragh O'Brien will certainly be joined by a third nominee to be appointed by headquarters.

The party says that its strategy is to maximise FF support in the constituency, which is code for the imposition of a third runner. Kennedy got 5,250 first preferences last time out and is seen as a likely seat winner.

Meanwhile, drink-driving TD James McDaid looks set to be on a collision course with Fianna Fail headquarters after revealing that he is determined to contest a seat.

Fianna Fail has already made it clear that sitting TDs Cecelia Keaveney and Niall Blaney are to be its two candidates in three-seater Donegal North East in the absence of a selection convention.

But with the recent amalgamation of Blaney‘s Independent Fianna Fail with Fianna Fail in tatters, McDaid said he is confident of selection at a local convention, with or without the sanction of head office.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News