Fine Gael adds Richard Bruton to Dublin Bay North ticket

Party council takes decision after Minister’s failure to win nomination at convention

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. Fine Gael’s executive council has added Mr Bruton to the party’s general election ticket for Dublin Bay North, after his failure to win a nomination at the selection convention. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. Fine Gael’s executive council has added Mr Bruton to the party’s general election ticket for Dublin Bay North, after his failure to win a nomination at the selection convention. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Fine Gael’s executive council has added Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton to the party’s general election ticket for Dublin Bay North after his failure to win a nomination at Thursday’s selection convention.

Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí was selected as the party’s sole male candidate for the constituency at the convention in Clontarf on Thursday night, with local election candidate Stephanie Regan winning the slot as the female candidate on the ticket.

Clontarf-based Mr Bruton has been a TD for 33 years and was one of only three Dublin TDs re-elected in Fine Gael’s worst election campaign in its history in 2002.

Mr Ó Muirí was Mr Bruton’s running mate in the 2011 general election in the former constituency of Dublin North Central and survived until the last count.

Ms Regan drew most of her support from the former Dublin North-East constituency, where the party was represented in 2011 by Terence Flanagan, who has since defected to Renua.

The decision by the 21-member council, chaired by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, was made this morning.

The council did not convene but were individually contacted by telephone for a decision that was considered inevitable, given Mr Bruton’s senior status.

It is understood that Mr Ó Muirí told delegates that if he were to win, Mr Bruton would be added to the ticket, but his own chances of being added if he failed to get through the convention would be zero.

Gender quotas

One delegate at the convention told The Irish Times there was resentment in the constituency that it was being used as a “laboratory” to comply with the gender quota rules, which require that 30 per cent of party candidates are female.

The convention voted unanimously after the result to compel the executive to add Mr Bruton to the ticket.

Several speakers at the convention criticised party headquarters for the gender directive it has issued for the constituency.

Separately, Labour has selected Minister for Communications and Energy Alex White as its sole candidate in the new Dublin Rathdown constituency. Mr White was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 in the former five-seat constituency of Dublin South.

Mr White faces an uphill struggle to retain his seat in the smaller three-seat constituency, where the other sitting TDs are: Independents Shane Ross and Peter Mathews, and Fine Gael’s Olivia Mitchell and Alan Shatter.

Mr White said he was honoured to be nominated by his colleagues in Dublin Rathdown at the selection convention on Thursday.

“We must now secure the recovery and avoid handing the keys back to politicians who ruined us in the past, or onto those who offer nothing but bare-faced populism and reckless policies that would stop the recovery in its tracks,” he told Labour Party members at the convention.