FF euro hopeful vows not to revisit Bertie row
NEW Fianna Fail euro hopeful Mary Fitzpatrick has insisted she will not be seeking votes based on her previous battles with Bertie Ahern.
The Dublin city councillor is going to seek the party nomination to run in the three-seater Dublin euro constituency in May's European elections.
She is well-known for her clashes with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who was the dominant force in their shared Dublin Central constituency.
He sent voters a signed letter the day before the 2007 general election urging them to give their "Number One" vote to him, their "Number Two" vote to his close associate Cyprian Brady and their "Number Three" vote to Ms Fitzpatrick.
Mr Brady got just 939 first-preference votes but the lion's share of Mr Ahern's transfers -- putting him into the Dail instead of Ms Fitzpatrick.
But Ms Fitzpatrick told the Irish Independent that her campaign would not be about "going back over old ground".
"It's going back seven years now and I've been elected 10 years. Honestly, in approaching this election campaign, it's about the future for Dublin and for Europe. It's not about the past," she said.
Fianna Fail was left without any TDs in Dublin following its near wipe-out in the 2011 general election, and no MEPs either. It means the May election will be crucial to the efforts of leader Micheal Martin to rebuild the party in the city.
Ms Fitzpatrick has pledged to serve her full five-year term if she is elected to the European Parliament -- and not to quit in 2016 to run for the Dail.
But she said the first step would be winning the Fianna Fail selection convention expected to be held by the end of this month.
But other contenders for the nomination include former Fianna Fail senator Geraldine Feeney and Gay and Lesbian Equality Network director Tiernan Brady. Former minister Mary Hanafin has also expressed interest in running but Fianna Fail senator Averil Power has ruled herself out.