Gabrielle McFadden confirms by-election run

Nicky McFadden’s sister is fulfilling a promise to her late sister

Nicky McFadden: Her sister Gabrielle said she will contest the by-election caused by Ms McFadden’s death

Nicky McFadden: Her sister Gabrielle said she will contest the by-election caused by Ms McFadden’s death

Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 14:21

The sister of the late Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden has said she will contest the by-election caused by Ms McFadden’s death, increasing the likelihood that the Government will try to fill the two vacant Dáil seats on the same day as the local and European elections.

Gabrielle McFadden, a Westmeath county councillor based in Athlone, said she is fulfilling a promise to her late sister by putting her name forward.

Another by-election is pending in Dublin West following the resignation of former Independent TD Patrick Nulty.

The Government this week appointed a clerk assistant in the Dáil as a temporary replacement for the full time clerk, who retired last year, which will allow the by-election writs to be moved.

Ms McFadden said she is prepared for the by-election to be held on May 23rd, the same day as the local and European elections, or later in year, when other by-elections are likely to fill the seats of TDs who go to the European Parliament or European Commission.

Her sister Nicky died last month at 51, having battled motor neurone disease since her diagnosis in 2012.

Ms McFadden said she has to win a Fine Gael selection convention before contesting the by-election and said she has “no God-given right” to the party nomination or the seat.

She will be running in the local election anyway, and said: “Whatever happens I’m in an election on May 23rd. I have to go out and canvass for that.”

Ms McFadden is mayor of Athlone, a position formerly held by her father Brendan, who died last November.