Monday 14 October 2019

Nunan defends constituency links after ex-TD's online posts

Candidate: Sheila Nunan will contest Ireland South. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Candidate: Sheila Nunan will contest Ireland South. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Labour European election candidate Sheila Nunan has been forced to defend her links to the Ireland South constituency after her failed rival for the nomination pointed out she lives in Dublin.

Former Clare TD Michael McNamara - who was defeated by teachers' union leader Ms Nunan at last Sunday's selection convention - highlighted in a number of online posts that she didn't live in the constituency.

Last night, outgoing Irish National Teachers' Organisation general secretary Ms Nunan said she had "worked for and represented people from every town, parish and island in the constituency throughout my union career.

"I don't think any other candidate in the field can say that," she added.

Mr McNamara had seized on an article written by the party's Dublin candidate, Alex White, who questioned whether Fine Gael's decision to ask voters to give one of the capital's European Parliament seats to Northern Irish politician Mark Durkan was misconceived.

Mr McNamara questioned on Twitter whether "asking voters to give one of Ireland South's MEPs to Dublin is not also misconceived". In another post, he said he wasn't criticising Ms Nunan "for running in a different constituency to where she lives".

Mr McNamara said it had been an "issue of concern" among members who spoke to him at the convention but added: "Obviously not enough in light of the large margin."

A Labour Party spokesman said Ms Nunan was overwhelming endorsed by Labour Party members in Ireland South. It said she lived on the border of Dublin and Co Wicklow - a county in the Ireland South constituency - and both of her parents were from Co Kerry. It said she represented teachers from every county in the constituency.

Irish Independent

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