Monday 23 October 2017

McGuinness critical of FF candidate selection

John McGuinness
John McGuinness

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness has criticised the party's new method for selecting general election candidates, describing the process as "auctions".

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD was commenting in the wake of the shock defeat of two-time by-election candidate David McGuinness at a selection convention this week.

The prominent Fianna Fáil councillor was beaten in the party's Dublin West selection convention to new councillor Jack Chambers.

Fianna Fáil has brought in the one-member, one-vote system for selection of candidates.

The system favours candidates who can afford to register more members.

John McGuinness sympathised with his namesake saying it was "a pleasure" to canvass for him in both by-elections.

"It makes you wonder about 'conventions' and how (or who) influences them, from the outside! Maybe 'conventions' have become 'auctions'?" he said in a post on Facebook.

Mr McGuinness, the Dáil Public Accounts Committee chairman, has been a critic of party leader Micheál Martin and the selection process.

Within Fianna Fail, there is a view party headquarters was aware of the expected outcome in Dublin West.

"If Jack Chambers got selected, it's because headquarters wanted him to win. They don't hold conventions unless they are certain of getting the result they want," a party source said.

David McGuinness told his supporters he felt "shafted and badly let down".

"This has genuinely been a bitter pill to swallow," he said.

Irish Independent

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