Hanafin's bid for candidacy receives blow
Mary Hanafin's bid to become Fianna Fáil's general election candidate has taken a blow, with the candidate she backed for the party's national executive beaten by one supported by her rival.
Annette McAllister - who worked on several of Ms Hanafin's election campaigns - lost out to Luke Martin, who is a supporter of local Fianna Fáil Councillor Cormac Devlin.
Mr Devlin and Ms Hanafin are both seeking to be selected as the party's candidate in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at a forthcoming convention.
Kate Feeney, who was locked in a bitter battle with Ms Hanafin ahead of last year's local election, and Jennifer Cuffe are also contesting the convention.
Two weeks ago, the local membership voted on who should represent the branch on the Fianna Fáil national executive. Mr Martin narrowly beat Ms McAllister.
But party sources said the result was hugely significant ahead of the selection convention. "It does not mean Devlin is the frontrunner, but it is positive news for his camp," a source said.
Ms Hanafin yesterday played down the significance of the vote, and said it was "entirely separate" from the selection convention.
"Different election, different candidate," the former minister said.
Mr Martin was selected to represent the Fianna Fáil Dún Laoghaire branch on the national executive at a meeting at which members were given minutes from a previous meeting.
In the minutes, leaked to the Irish Independent, Ms Hanafin is recorded as describing Fianna Fáil as a party which "stands for nothing, has no vision and agrees with the Government on everything".
Ms Hanafin said the minutes were an "oversimplification" of what she said.