FG TDs applaud John Perry appeal for place on party ticket

Party sources still say ex-junior minister unlikely to be added to general election ticket

Former junior minister John Perry has outlined why he should he included on the Fine Gael general election ticket. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Former junior minister John Perry has outlined why he should he included on the Fine Gael general election ticket. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Former junior minister John Perry received a round of applause at a meeting of Fine Gael TDs and Senators after he outlined why he should he included on a party general election ticket.

Mr Perry tabled a parliamentary party meeting motion calling for an explanation from TDs sitting on the party’s executive council, which issues directions on selection conventions, of how he was deselected at a recent convention.

He failed to secure a place on the party ticket for Sligo-Leitrim after the executive council issued a directive to select only one candidate from each county.

His motion was dealt with at the weekly parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday evening, and Mr Perry spoke of his family’s loyalty to Fine Gael and defended his own record in the Dáil.

He said his father had advised him against entering politics but he had done so anyway.

Those present said he spoke well and was applauded when he finished.

Kildare South deputy Martin Heydon, who is a parliamentary party representative on the executive council, said a response will be given to Mr Perry at next week’s meeting of TDs and Senators.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not respond to Mr Perry, since his motion was addressed to the parliamentary party representatives of the executive council. They are TDs Dan Neville and Sean Conlan, as well as Mr Heydon, and Senator Maurice Cummins.

Move unlikely

However, party sources still say Mr Perry is unlikely to be added to the general election ticket. In a statement released after the meeting, Mr Perry said he “outlined the reasons why he should be added to the Fine Gael ticket”.

He said he was encouraged by the reaction from his colleagues to his speech “and awaits the outcome of next week’s parliamentary party meeting with some confidence”.

The statement said Mr Heydon is to report back on the role of the executive council in his case, where “where an elected member could be deselected at a convention”.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael has added a female candidate to its Laois general election ticket as part of efforts to meet the new gender quota rules.

Thomasina Connell, a solicitor for Ballybrittas, will run alongside Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.