Wednesday 24 January 2018

Fresh blow for Fianna Fáil as mayor to make solo Dáil run

Alan Coleman
Alan Coleman
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Fianna Fáil has suffered another blow with the resignation of veteran politician Alan Coleman, the outgoing Mayor of Cork County Council.

Mr Coleman, an elected official for 24 years, said he felt "very let down" by the way the party had treated him.

"There is no room for dissent in Fianna Fáil, that is clear," he said.

He is to contest the next general election as an Independent.

In a swipe at the party hierarchy, he said he felt Micheál Martin had taken the party as far as he could as leader.

"There is no personal animosity there," he said.

"But I think people are confused about what FF stands for and what its policies on key issues are.

"There is a harking back to FF as a catch-all party.

"But times have moved on. You cannot please all the people all the time and yet that is what FF seems to be trying to do."

Fianna Fáil will now run councillor Margaret Murphy-O'Mahony, a first-time member of Cork County Council.

Mr Coleman's resignation follows that of Senator Averil Power from the Dublin Bay North constituency.

The senator's former colleagues selected councillor Deirdre Heney to run in the election.

Sean Haughey, the former junior minister and son of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey, lost by two votes.

Fianna Fáil strategists now have to decide whether to add Mr Haughey as a second candidate in a constituency which already has six TDs fighting for five seats.

But Ms Heney says she believes the party should run just one candidate.

"The question is, what should be done to ensure that we get the seat in this constituency, and that's a matter for the constituency committee. I believe that the best approach is to just run one candidate," she said on Raidió na Gaeltachta.

"We are hopeful of winning 35 or 36 seats in the general election, and hopefully one of those will be my seat in Dublin Bay North."

Irish Independent

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