Major row at Fianna Fáil convention in Longford

Delegates unhappy after woman selected to run in election at request of party chiefs

The majority of delegates at a Fianna Fáil selection convention at the Longford Arms Hotel objected strongly on Thursday night when a woman was selected as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming general election at the direction of party headquarters. Image: Google Streetview

The majority of delegates at a Fianna Fáil selection convention at the Longford Arms Hotel objected strongly on Thursday night when a woman was selected as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming general election at the direction of party headquarters. Image: Google Streetview

 

The majority of delegates at a Fianna Fáil selection convention in Longford objected strongly on Thursday night when a woman was selected as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming general election at the direction of party headquarters.

Connie Gerety Quinn, the manager of the Longford Citizen’s Information Service, was nominated as the candidate despite the opposition of the majority of the 350 or so delegates at the convention in the Longford Arms Hotel.

After the meeting Cllr Martin Mulleady told The Irish Times that Ms Gerety Quinn had been imposed despite the clear wishes of over 90 per cent of the delegates present at the meeting.

He said all of the party’s seven councillors had spoken against the nomination and the decision had done serious damage to the party in the county.

“I am very disappointed that the views of the party members in the county have been ignored and I am disappointed that Connie signed the party pledge and agreed to the nomination,” said Mr Mulleady.

He said the membership would be taking further action and he called on Ms Gerety to stand down as a candidate.

“I am hoping that Connie will withdraw as a candidate. Most of the women present at the convention spoke against her candidature,” he added.

Fianna Fáil has already selected sitting TD Robert Troy as the candidate in the Westmeath end of the constituency and Thursday night’s convention was to select a candidate from Longford.

Cllr Seamus Butler and the former president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association Pat O’Rourke had expressed interest in being candidates but a direction from party headquarters specified that the convention select a woman candidate.

Although Ms Gerety Quinn did not speak, Mr O’Rourke empathised with the position party bosses had left her in.

He said the ruling sent down by Fianna Fáil’s National Constituencies Committee would have wide-ranging repercussions for the party locally.

In the event there was no vote at the convention and the chair, Laois TD, Seán Fleming, refused to adjourn the meeting and announced that Ms Gerety Quinn would be the candidate.