Roche fails to get FF nomination

Thu, May 9, 1996, 01:00

SENATOR DICK ROCHE, the unsuccessful Fianna Fail candidate in the recent Wicklow by election, was defeated by one vote last night at a party convention to select two candidates for the next general election. He had won the by election nomination by one vote, defeating Mr Michael Lawlor 95-94 on that occasion.

Last night, at the convention in Lawless's Hotel, Aughrim, Mr Lawlor secured the nomination when he received 95 votes to Mr Roche's 94. Earlier, the sitting Fianna Fail TD for the constituency, Mr Joe Jacob, was selected unanimously.

The second nomination was contested by Senator Roche, by Mr Lawlor, an ESB employee and member of Bray UDC and Wicklow County Council, and by Mr Joe Behan, a teacher and also a member of Bray UDC and Wicklow County Council.

In the first ballot, Mr Behan received 14 votes to Mr Lawlor's 87 and Senator Roche's 86. Two votes were spoiled. A second ballot secured the nomination for Mr Lawlor. Mr Lawlor, who is in his mid forties, has been a councillor for 12 years and lives in Bray with his wife and daughter.

Party sources indicated that, due to the closeness of last night's vote, it was likely that the leadership would recommend to the national executive that Senator Roche be added to the Fianna Fail panel for Wicklow in the general election.