John Perry ‘delighted’ at outcome of talks on FG candidacy

TD feels vindicated in stance taken on what he claimed was flawed selection convention

 John Perry with his Fine Gael  party leader Enda Kenny.  File photograph: The Irish Times

John Perry with his Fine Gael party leader Enda Kenny. File photograph: The Irish Times


John Perry TD will be added to the Fine Gael election ticket for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency, it was revealed in the High Court on Tuesday.

Mr Perry said he was delighted with the outcome, which followed a morning of inter-party talks on what was to have been the sixth day of the proceedings in which Mr Perry was bidding for a court order directing he be accepted as a candidate.

He said he felt vindicated in the stance he had taken in regards to what he claimed had been a flawed selection convention.

He felt it was important that Fine Gael succeed at the next election and forms the next government. He was more than willing to play his part.

Automatically accepted

The court was told the national executive of Fine Gael is to meet on Wednesday night and will make a recommendation that Mr Perry be added to the ticket, a matter that will be automatically accepted by all of the party chiefs.

Mr Perry, a former junior minister in the Coalition Government, had sued his own party after he had been dropped from the Fine Gael ticket at the October 16th selection convention.

Peace talks broke out this morning between Mr Perry’s legal team and lawyers for Fine Gael Trustees following Monday’s remarks in the witness box by Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran.

Mr Curran told the High Court the option of adding Mr Perry as a third candidate for the general election in Sligo-Leitrim was “still in play”.

In his evidence on the fifth day of Mr Perry’s action seeking that a new selection convention be held, Mr Curran said that with Fine Gael riding high in the polls at 32 per cent it was “possible for the party to look again at this”.

Mr Perry sought orders against the trustees of Fine Gael over the outcome of the selection convention at which he was not selected. The Fine Gael party opposed Mr Perry’s application.

Substantial irregularities

Mr Perry alleged there had been serious and substantial irregularities at the convention which rendered its decision-making unlawful and fundamentally flawed.

Tuesday was to have been the sixth day of the hearing but proceedings did not get under way after the judge, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, was told talks were taking place.

Mr Perry was represented by Mr Micheal P O’Higgins SC, who appeared with barrister Padraic Lyons instructed by Gerard Gannon of Claffey Gannon solicitors.

Fine Gael trustees were represented by Seamus Woulfe SC and Pat McCann SC with barrister Michael Binchey, instructed by former president of the Incorporated Law Society, Kevin O’Higgins of Kevin O’Higgins and Co.

The proceedings have been adjourned for mention only until January 12th.