Fianna Fáil add Billy Kelleher and Anne Rabbitte to European election tickets
FIANNA Fáil has added frontbench TDs Billy Kelleher and Anne Rabbitte to their ticket for the upcoming European elections.
Mr Kelleher, a TD for Cork North Central, suffered an embarrassing defeat to Wexford councillor Malcolm Byrne at a convention in recent weeks.
The final vote count showed the ex-minister losing by 451 to 443 votes despite being the hot favourite.
The party’s National Constituencies Committee has decided he will be added as a second candidate for Ireland South. It means there is now likely to be a fierce battle between two men for the one seat Fianna Fáil hold in the constituency.
Mr Kelleher previously clashed with the party hierarchy over his desire to run for Brussels. Party leader Micheál Martin has initially opposed the idea but has since softened his attitude.
Meanwhile Ms Rabbitte becomes the only women to contest the European elections on the European ticket. She will be teamed up with another TD, Brendan Smith in the vast Midlands-North West constituency.
They have a one candidate strategy in Dublin where Barry Andrews will hope to be their first MEP for the capital in a decade.