Saturday 20 January 2018

'Averil Power will make a great Independent' says former Fianna Fail front bencher Mary O'Rourke

Mary O'Rourke
Mary O'Rourke
Former Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power

David Kearns

Averil Power will not need Fianna Fail to get elected says former party heavy-weight Mary O’Rourke, who said the senator would be missed following her departure.

The former Fianna Fail front bencher told that Senator Power would have little trouble getting elected as an Independent candidate, saying she had “always found her to be a really good public representative.”

“I’m just really sorry to see her go, I think she’ll make a very good candidate as an Independent and I think she will get elected.”

Read More: The final snub for Averil Power: No ticket to Dublin Castle on Saturday

Ms Power is the latest high-profile member to quit Fianna Fail, and this morning TDs and senators lined up to round on their former colleague.

Several members of the party’s front bench strongly criticised Ms Power after she quit the party and launched a blistering attack on Micheal Martin’s leadership.

Read More: Colette Browne: Fianna Fail are trying to depict Averil Power as an egotistical drama queen

Ms Power accused the party of not canvassing for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum and said that Mr Martin was not an effective leader or fit for government.

Yesterday the Fianna Fail leader responded, saying that her comments were “nasty, vindictive, disingenuous and unfair”.

Read More: 'Why I left Fianna Fail' - Averil Power on her departure from party in her own words

Among the few positive commentators from within the party to have surfaced since Ms Power’s departure from Fianna Fail, Ms O’Rourke said she was "really sorry to see her go".

"I think she’ll make a very good candidate as an Independent and I think she will get elected. Regardless, I wish her luck and I hope I meet her again because I like her company."

Read More: Daniel McConnell: Averil Power's departure is a huge embarrassment for Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin

Asked to give her own opinion on Ms Power quitting Fianna Fail, Ms O’Rourke continued: “I’m not going to be a judge on who is saying the right thing.”

“We’ve got a different version from each person of what happen, so who is to judge on that."

"Micheal Martin said [Ms Power] wanted to run on her own in Dublin Bay North, and she said that is not so. I’m not going to be a judge on whose is right."

Responding to Fianna Fail claims that Ms Power's departure had more to do with the selection convention for Dublin Bay North than the party's commitment to the same-sex marriage referendum, Ms O’Rourke told that, in her opinion, there was room "for two on one ticket".

“I know at the Ard Fheis just gone by, when Sean Haughey came on the stage I’ve never seen in my life such a spontaneous uprising  of people getting to their feet, so he’s clearly popular."

“But I would have thought there would have been room for himself and Averil Power."

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