Seán Haughey to be added to Fianna Fáil ticket
TD Peter Fitzpatrick decides to run for Fine Gael after previously ruling himself out
Seán Haughey: surprisingly defeated by Deirdre Heney at the Fianna Fáil convention for the Dublin Bay North constituency. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Fianna Fáil is likely to add former junior minister Seán Haughey to a general election ticket following his surprise defeat at a constituency selection convention earlier this week. Mr Haughey was beaten by Deirdre Heney, a councillor, at the Fianna Fáil convention for the Dublin Bay North constituency, even though he was widely seen as the favourite.
The directive from party headquarters was to select just one candidate and Ms Heney has said she believes a single-candidate strategy is the best approach to take a seat in the five-seater constituency.
The decision whether or not to add Mr Haughey will be made by the Fianna Fáil constituency committee, chaired by Cork North West TD Michael Moynihan. “The task for the party is choosing which is the best option to win a seat,” said one source, adding “more likely than not” Mr Haughey would be added.
Mr Haughey, a son of former taoiseach Charles Haughey, did not return calls but party sources suggested he had been somewhat complacent in his approach to the convention. It was also suggested that some members who were supporters of Averil Power – who was expected to contest the convention but resigned from Fianna Fáil – had switched to Ms Heney.
Separately, a councillor who lost out at a recent selection convention has left Fianna Fáil, claiming he has become disillusioned with the party. Alan Coleman, the mayor of Cork county, says he will now stand as an Independent in Cork South West. He lost a Fianna Fáil selection convention to fellow councillor, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony.
Meanwhile, a Fine Gael TD who said he was not standing for the party has changed his mind following a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick is understood to have secured a commitment from the Fine Gael hierarchy that the party ticket in the constituency would comprise only two candidates.
After announcing he was not standing for Fine Gael, Mr Fitzpatrick then suggested he could stand under a different banner, which reduced sympathy for him in the party. “We mostly felt sorry for him, but that annoyed people,” said one TD.