Organiser of Golfgate event Donie Cassidy seeks to become Fianna Fáil vice-president

Cassidy, a former leader of the Seanad, was acquitted of charges relating to the event

Donie Cassidy, organiser of the infamous Golfgate event which caused big political controversy, is seeking to become Fianna Fáil vice-president at the party’s ardfheis this weekend.

Mr Cassidy, a former leader of the Seanad, was acquitted of charges relating to the event in the Station House Hotel in August 2020 last year. The District Court found they had acted fully within the law.

In an email seeking support from members, Mr Cassidy said he was a “lifelong Fianna Fáil member who has worked for the organisation at local and national level” and boasted an “excellent working knowledge of the organisation throughout the country as a result”.

He wrote of his “proud record of achievements” as a TD, senator and councillor and of his two terms as leader of the Seanad.

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“If elected a vice-president of Fianna Fáil I will work closely with the party leadership at Ard Comhairle level to build on our election results, and generate a winning campaign in all future elections,” he told members.

Mr Cassidy will be seeking the seat alongside a slate of other candidates, including Waterford TD and Minister of State Mary Butler; Eamon Ó Cuiv TD for Galway West; Kathryn Byrne from Dublin Bay South, Stephanie Davis O’Brien from Fingal, Arthur Griffith from Tipperary and Aoife McCooey from Monaghan.

There are five vice-presidents, two of whom must be members of the parliamentary party — one female and one male. Mr Ó Cuiv and Ms Butler are the only parliamentary party members who accepted their nominations, and therefore are unopposed.

Kevin Fitzgerald from Cork North Central and Niall Collins, the Minister of State from Limerick County, will be returned as honorary treasurers after being nominated unopposed. James Lawless, the Kildare North TD, will be joint honorary secretary alongside Monaghan’s Margaret Conlon.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will be elected unopposed as Uachtarán Fianna Fáil.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times