FF TDs insist they will contest next election

Martin says any TD thinking of retiring must tell him by the end of September

From left: Brendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan), Colm Keaveney (Galway East) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

From left: Brendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan), Colm Keaveney (Galway East) and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Sat, Jul 19, 2014, 01:02

A number of Fianna Fáil TDs have insisted they will stand in the next general election, after Micheál Martin this week asked any TDs thinking of retiring to notify him of their intentions by the end of September.

The Irish Times reported yesterday that Mr Martin gave the retirement deadline to his TDs at the final parliamentary party meeting of the Dáil session, as part of preparations for the next general election which includes hiring additional staff.

Party sources had speculated on a number of TDs who might be considering their options, including Wexford TD John Browne, Galway East’s Michael Kitt, former ceann comhairle and Louth TD Séamus Kirk and Cavan-Monaghan’s Brendan Smith.

However, Mr Smith emphatically pointed out yesterday he would be standing, and said he had no intention of retiring. He would be fighting to bring in a second seat in his constituency. His likely running mate will be Margaret Conlon, who lost her seat at the 2011 general election.

Mr Smith, a previous minster for agriculture, said some of the policies he introduced in office, such as the Food Harvest 2020 strategy, are being achieved.

“I wish to confirm that I will be contesting the next general election,” Mr Smith said. “In the four-seat Cavan-Monaghan constituency, there will be one candidate in Cavan and one candidate in Monaghan.

Mr Kitt said his “firm intention” was to stand again and said he was busy and enjoying his work as a TD. Mr Kitt shares a constituency with Colm Keaveney, who joined Fianna Fáil last year. Mr Keaveney was elected for Labour but left the party in protest over budget cuts.