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Retirements hit Fianna Fail selection plans

FIANNA Fail expects to have a clearer picture of who exactly is running in the next general election by the end of next week.

The party's selection of candidates is intensifying but the retirement rate of sitting TDs continues unabated.

Mary Wallace became the 12th TD to announce they would be standing down at the weekend.

Her constituency colleague Thomas Byrne paid tribute to Ms Wallace, despite frequent reports of a testy relationship between the pair.

Fine Gael candidate Regina Doherty said her local area had some of the best schools in the country thanks to her commitment.

"On a personal note, it is sad to see another woman leaving the political stage," she said.

By next weekend, Fianna Fail will have selected candidates in 33 constituencies. But the selection process in the remaining 10 constituencies is still up in the air.

Within the party, there is a suspicion there may be even more retirements announced.

Tonight, Fianna Fail will select cabinet minister Mary Hanafin and Barry Andrews to run in Dun Laoghaire. But the convention is being overshadowed by a spat over whether one of the TDs should move to Dublin South where there is a vacancy.

Irish Independent