Fitzpatrick makes FF ticket as opponent quits
Former Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzpatrick has made the ticket as a general election candidate after a stormy selection convention last night.
Bertie Ahern's Dublin Central rival secured her place after the only other candidate, Denise McMorrow, pulled out in protest at the party's decision to impose a gender diktat on the constituency.
Tensions were high in the Skylon Hotel as Ms Fitzpatrick once again faced down the might of the 'Drumcondra Mafia', who were allegedly backing Ms McMorrow. A long-time Ahern supporter, Brian Mohan, had missed out on a place on the ticket due to the gender quota.
However, intense shouting could be heard from the polling room as more than 100 party members gathered to cast their vote. A party spokesperson said the gender quota was causing "issues".
Members streamed from the room after Ms McMorrow was jeered as she tried to speak following her decision to stand down.
Ms McMorrow hit out at gender quotas and said she "could not believe the fact" that Mr Mohan was not allowed to "contest for his place on the ticket".
She said her decision to step aside was a "very difficult one" and called for the party to rally behind Ms Fitzpatrick, who she said was an excellent candidate.
Ms Fitzpatrick said she was delighted to be "unanimously selected" but also criticised the gender quotas, adding: "It is not going to introduce one single woman into the Dáil. All it creates is token female candidates."
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil activists in Kildare South are bracing themselves for a huge internal battle as party headquarters added another woman candidate to its election ticket.
Cllr Fiona O'Loughlin confirmed that she is standing in three-seat Kildare South alongside sitting TD and party chief whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
He has represented the party in Kildare South, as TD and Senator since 1997 and many within the party believe they can only take one seat in the constituency.
Sitting Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon is joined on the ticket by newcomer, Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy.
Labour stalwart Jack Wall will not be standing. His son Cllr Mark Wall will be the party candidate.
Sinn Féin nominated Cllr Tricia Ryan. And Newbridge Independent Cllr Willie Crowley is with Shane Ross's Independent Alliance.