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Haughey move 'to force me out' FF election rival claims

RETURN: Sean Haughey (far left) and Deirdre Heney

FORMER Fianna Fail minister Sean Haughey is at the centre of a bitter row after an election candidate accused the party of using him to force her "out of politics".

He will contest this summer's local elections in Dublin's Clontarf ward following a late decision by Fianna Fail headquarters to add him to the party ticket.

The move has sparked tensions between Mr Haughey and sitting councillor Deirdre Heney, who was the only candidate chosen to run in Clontarf following a selection convention last month.

Ms Heney described the decision to add Mr Haughey to the ticket as disappointing.

"I was quite surprised when I heard Sean Haughey was being added to the ticket, it's very disappointing to be honest," she told the Herald.

"People close to me believe that this was orchestrated.

"The way I view it is that he has been placed in my ward to give him a clear run at the next general election and to effectively take me out of politics."

DECISION

Mr Haughey did not return calls last night.

However, a spokesman for the party said the decision reflected the belief that it can land two seats.

"Clontarf is now a six-seat Local Electoral Area, and the party believes that it can win two of those seats," he said.

"One in the form of excellent sitting councillor Deirdre Heney and the other in the form of former Lord Mayor and TD Sean Haughey."

Mr Haughey was among the dozens of TDs who lost their seats during Fianna Fail's collapse in 2011.

However, he was quickly appointed as an area representative and has been involved with the party locally.

noconnor@herald.ie


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