Finneran will not fight election


MINISTER OF State at the Department of the Environment Michael Finneran (63) will not contest the next general election.

The decision of the Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-South Leitrim, a close ally of Taoiseach Brian Cowen, caused surprise in the constituency last night.

Mr Finneran, who has ministerial responsibility for housing, was first elected to the Dáil in 2002. A former psychiatric nurse, he served on Roscommon County Council from 1989 to 2003. He is understood to have informed Mr Cowen before Christmas that he would not contest.

Fianna Fáil Roscommon County councillor Rachael Doherty last night said she had “no idea” Mr Finneran was considering not running. “I’m surprised at Minister Finneran’s decision . . . it now leaves the party organisation with a lot of decisions to make in the next number of days,” she said. Earlier yesterday, Ms Doherty, a daughter of former TD Seán Doherty, had confirmed she would not put her name forward for the general election.