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FF's McGuinness 'overjoyed' as he wins nomination

DAVID McGuinness has been selected as the Fianna Fail candidate to run in the Dublin west by-election.

He defeated Anita Lenihan and Edward McManus for the party nomination at a selection convention last night.

McGuinness ran for the party in the 2011 by-election and surprised many by finishing second to Patrick Nulty, who resigned in controversial circumstances as a TD last month.

"I'm overjoyed. I look forward to having the chance to represent this constituency in the Dail," he said after his selection. "It was a very clean convention campaign. There was no animosity between the candidates. I have the utmost respect for Anita Lenihan and Edward McManus."

Ms Lenihan, a qualified barrister, has been active in the Fianna Fail organisation in Dublin West and had been approached to run in 2011 after her brother's death

Her family have had long political links with the constituency.

Afterwards she said she was disappointed not to get the nomination but stressed the importance of the party getting behind McGuinness in order to go on and win the seat.

In recent weeks there has been considerable internal feuding within the Dublin West Fianna Fail organisation.

Some of Ms Lenihan's supporters argued that her Castleknock base would prove an important vote-catcher.


However, the McGuinness Banchardstown heartland will more than compensate, according to one of his key backers.

Socialist candidate Ruth Coppinger is seen as the favourite to win the seat. Fine Gael's candidate is former world champion runner and senator Eamonn Coghlan, while Paul Donnelly is standing for Sinn Fein.

The by-election is set to be held on May 23, the same day as the local and Euro elections.