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Haughey: 'I did not canvass voters for a Yes'


Fianna Fail's Sean Haughey

Fianna Fail's Sean Haughey

Steve Humphreys

Fianna Fail's Sean Haughey

Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Haughey has admitted he did not canvass for a Yes vote in the marriage-equality referendum as he weighed into the controversy over Senator Averil Power's shock resignation.

Mr Haughey - who is the son of the late Charles J Haughey - said he could not canvass "with conviction" and also refused to say how he had voted at the ballot box.

The former TD, who lost his seat in the 2011 election, is seeking to represent Fianna Fáil in the upcoming general election in the newly-formed constituency of Dublin Bay North, where Ms Power is also based.

Fianna Fáil claimed Ms Power quit the party because she was told she would not be the only candidate in this constituency.

After she quit Fianna Fáil, Senator Power claimed FF TDs did not canvass for a Yes vote, even though the party officially supported it.

Speaking about Senator Power's departure on RTÉ Radio One, Mr Haughey refused to say which way he voted in the referendum.

"Well, like many people, including the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, it was a long journey.

"For this one, I felt I couldn't canvass with conviction. That I wanted to listen to all the arguments, and I listened to the arguments right up to polling day. I'm passionate about my country, and on our society and how it should develop and at the end of the day it's a secret ballot," he said.

"I'll be perfectly honest; I feel if you're going to go to people's doors and ask them, you need conviction. And, for me, I wanted the luxury of sitting back and listening to all of the arguments."

He added that "referendums are different" and that it was very difficult for party candidates or TDs "to canvass for referendums".

Irish Independent