Monday 16 September 2019

Former minister Mary Hanafin loses out in Fianna Fáil nomination bid

Former Education Minister Mary Hanafin
Former Education Minister Mary Hanafin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Former minister Mary Hanafin has lost out in a vote to represent Fianna Fáil in the next general election.

Councillor Cormac Devlin was tonight selected by delegates in Dun Laoghaire as their candidate.

Independent.ie understands Ms Hanafin finished last of the three candidates before the convention.

Mr Devlin received 74 votes, compared to 64 for Ms Feeney and 45 for Ms Hanafin.

The result means that if Ms Hanafin is to return to the Dail she will have to be added to the party ticket by Fianna Fáil headquarters, as happened last year.

Almost 200 party members attended the convention which was also contested by Cllr Kate Feeney in the Royal Marine Hotel tonight.

The party is likely to decide in the coming days whether Ms Hanafin or Ms Feeney will be added to the ticket.

Prior to losing her Dail seat in 2011, Ms Hanafin held a variety of senior roles including Government Chief Whip, Minister for Education and Minister for Social and Family Affairs. She also had a brief period as deputy leader of Fianna Fáil under Brian Cowen.

Dun Laoghaire is one of a number of constituencies in Dublin that Fianna Fáil has targeted for a seat gain at the next election.

The party currently has no TDs from the area compared to three for Fine Gael.

Accepting the nomination Cllr Devlin criticised the Fine Gael-led government, saying: "Homelessness has consistently increased under Leo Varadkar. Pensioners are being left to go blind for the want of a 20-minute operation. The department of justice has been allowed run a muck."

He added: "At the next election, whenever it comes, the choice is clear. A Taoiseach addicted to spin who seems more interested in the colour of his socks than the good administration of government or Micheal Martin who has demonstrated ability and cool leadership in crisis. I know my choice."

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