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Dublin SW by-election

Sir -- In your Life magazine (Sunday Independent, July 3, 2011), you published an article by Liam Collins on the Ryan family of the Monument Creamery fame. A section of the article contains what purports to be an account of the by-election in the old Dublin SW constituency occasioned by the death of Sean Dunne TD. This account is at variance with the facts, which are as follows.

At this point I should declare my own interest. I was a political protege of and sat on the old Dublin City Council with Councillor Sean Dunne TD.

When some time after Sean's unfortunate and untimely death the by-election was called, the Labour Party Constituency Council of the old Dublin SW Constituency arranged a selection conference, which was normal procedure. Labour Party head office demurred, obviously believing that the 'right' candidate would not be selected. A lot of political argy bargy then took place over the next number of weeks. Deadlock continued. Head office then offered to name me as official candidate, feeling that this would mollify the Constituency Council. I declined on the grounds that democracy would not be served by this 'fit-up'.

Head office then decided to dissolve the Constituency Council, which was its "democratic solution" to a problem of its own making. The Constituency Council then decided to go ahead with a candidate of its own choosing.

As I had declined, it was only then that Cora Dunne entered the picture. She was asked to run by the Constituency Council of the old Dublin SW constituency as the official candidate, and accepted. The rest, as they say, is history.

Mr Collins really should check his facts.

Dermot O'Shea,

Churchtown, Dublin 16

Liam Collins writes: All very interesting background but, as stated in the article, Matt Merrigan was the Labour candidate, Cora Dunne ran as an Independent and Sean Sherwin of Fianna Fail took the seat.

Sunday Independent