Fianna Fáil adds Lorraine Clifford Lee to Dublin Fingal ticket

Party currently without a TD in any of the capital’s constituencies

Fianna Fáil has added a second candidate to the party ticket in the Dublin Fingal constituency.

Lorraine Clifford Lee, who unsuccessfully contested the Dublin City Council ward of Pembroke-South Dock in last year's local elections, is to run alongside Senator Darragh O'Brien.

Ms Clifford is a member of the party’s Ard Chomhairle and Fianna Fáil said she had been central to its efforts to “boost female participation in the party at all levels”.

“The party is in a very competitive position to regain our strong footing in this key Dublin constituency,” said Michael Moynihan TD, chairman of Fianna Fáil’s National Constituencies Committee. “I know that together, Darragh and Lorraine will run a highly energetic and formidable campaign and provide excellent representation to the people of Dublin Fingal.”

Fianna Fáil is currently without a TD in any of the Dublin constituencies. Former minister for finance Brian Lenihan was the party’s only successful candidate in Dublin in the 2011 general election but he died shortly afterwards and the party did not hold the seat in the subsequent byelection.

Mr O’Brien, who is Malahide based, is looking to regain the Dáil seat he lost at the last election. Dublin Fingal is changing from being a four seat to a five seat constituency.

Ms Clifford Lee lives in Portmarnock with her daughter and husband, John Lee, who is political editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday.

The party will on Monday night decide who will contest the Dún Laoghaire constituency in the general election. Cllr Cormac Devlin, Cllr Kate Feeney and Cllr Mary Hanafin are all seeking the nomination.

Fianna Fáil, which has been criticised about a shortage of female public representatives in the party, had been considering issuing a gender directive but now appears to have changed its mind after legal action was threatened by Cllr Devlin.

Newly introduced gender quotas stipulate that 30 per cent of candidates a party puts forward have to be female or they will lose funding funding from the State.

Fianna Fail has directed members in two Dublin constituencies to select a single woman candidate to contest the election.