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Monday 5 December 2016

Deirdre Heney 'is only candidate' but Sean Haughey tipped for FF ticket

Deirdre Heney
Deirdre Heney

Deirdre Heney has staked her claim to be Fianna Fail's sole candidate in Dublin Bay North amid mounting speculation that Sean Haughey will be added to the ticket in a "ruthless" move by party headquarters.

"I am the only candidate. It's not like I'm proceeding as if I'm the only one. I am the only one," she said when asked about the possibility that fellow city councillor Mr Haughey will be added as a running mate.

The former TD and son of the late Taoiseach Charles Haughey lost out to Ms Heney by just two votes at the party's selection convention last month.

TICKET

The Herald has learned that the make-up of the ticket for the hotly-contested constituency will be finalised by party chiefs as soon as the end of August after a review of polling.

"They'll be ruthless enough. If it looks like Deirdre will win a seat on her own they'll leave it as it is. If it looks like Sean would win the seat, I have no doubt they'll add him," said a source.

Ms Heney was described by the source as a "formidable" candidate, while Mr Haughey was said to be a politician that's "well-liked on the ground".

"I don't know about any opinion polls being carried out," Ms Heney said last night.

"There's no indication to me anyone's being added. That's as good as I can give you," she said.

"It's not up to me to say who's doing what, but as far as I'm concerned I'm the candidate. You'd really need to speak to the constituency's committee," she said.

The chairman of that committee, Cork TD Michael Moynihan, refused to rule out the possibility that Mr Haughey would be added to the ticket

"We will be discussing it with our members in Dublin Bay North as any political party should ... If we had any internal polling we'd have to share it with the candidates first and then decide on what to do after that, and that's the right thing to do. We've to conduct our business in private and Dublin Bay North will be sorted," he said.

Mr Haughey did not respond to attempts to contact him.

Another councillor who contested the selection convention, Tom Brabazon, said his preference is for another candidate on the ticket. "The National Executive should add whoever would bring most to the table in garnering votes to ensure we can win back at least one seat in the constituency," he said.

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