Sunday 18 November 2018

Fine Gael candidate quits party over election row

Stephanie Regan ran in the local elections in 2014. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Stephanie Regan ran in the local elections in 2014. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A FORMER Fine Gael election candidate has quit the party, claiming she is about to be side-lined for Senator Catherine Noone.

Ms Noone, who chaired the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, is currently looking for a constituency where she can contest the next election.

The Mayo native ran along Leo Varadkar in Dublin West in 2016 but the Taoiseach is understood to favour Emer Currie, the daughter of Fine Gael stalwart Austin, for the next campaign.

As a result Ms Noone is now being linked to Dublin Bay North where Education Minister Richard Bruton is based.

However, the news has not gone down well with some of the membership including Stephanie Regan who was part of the Fine Gael ticket two years ago.

She has issued a statement to supporters in which she claimed that “Fine Gael headquarters have indicated that they are keen to only have Senator Catherine Noone on the ticket with Minister Bruton”.

Ms Regan was involved in a series of spats during the last campaign and at one point alleged that Mr Bruton purposely omitted her from election literature.

In her statement, Ms Regan said resisting headquarters is “quite an arduous battle”.

“The drain of energy and the negativity are an anathema to the positive life I like to live and to the positive mental health work that is core to who I am personally and professionally.

“For these reasons I will not be contesting this Convention, although my own interest in representing people remains firm as does my interest in protecting the area of Dublin Bay North,” she said.

Ms Regan, who is a clinical psychotherapist, added that she will also be withdrawing her membership of Fine Gael.

A spokesperson for the party said they had “no comment” on Ms Regan’s letter.

Ms Noone was uncontactable.

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