Martin says he will lead FF into next general election

Commenting on the outcome, Luke Ming Flanagan said a seed had been planted

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin insists he will lead the party into the next general election, despite an Independent candidate from outside the constituency snatching the byelection in Roscommon-South Leitrim.

However, speaking last night, Fianna Fáil Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy said a serious discussion on the future direction of the party is needed. “I hope there is a full and open discussion on the future direction of the party on Tuesday and the front bench meeting,” said Mr Troy.

Galway West TD Éamon O'Cuiv is also reported to have said Fianna Fáil cannot ignore the result of the byelection and that he will outline his concern at Tuesday's meeting.

Michael Fitzmaurice, a 45-year-old agricultural contractor who was elected to Galway County Council last May and lives in Glinsk, Co Galway, said at the weekend he would not be bound by invisible boundaries.


The Chairman of the Turf Cutters & Contractors Association said the ordinary people of Ireland want the political system changed.

Commenting on the outcome, MEP Luke Ming Flanagan said a seed had been planted and "if I were Enda Kenny I would be very worried".

Fianna Fáil candidate Ivan Connaughton said he was disappointed, but he pointed out that the party vote had gone up from 15 per cent to 23 per cent which he said was a good omen for the next general election.

He actually topped the poll with 7,334 votes, compared to 6,220 for Mr Fitzmaurice.

Martin Kenny of Sinn Féin, who polled 5,906 first preferences, said there was a sea-change happening in Irish politics and the parties who had dominated were being left behind.

Marese McDonagh

Marese McDonagh

Marese McDonagh, a contributor to The Irish Times, reports from the northwest of Ireland