Saturday 22 October 2016

FF row as sitting councillor Daithi de Roiste refuses to pull out of race

Daithi De Roiste

FIANNA Fail has directed a sitting councillor to withdraw from a general election selection convention in order to pave the way for the daughter of a former TD.

Party chiefs put pressure on Ballyfermot-based representative Daithi de Roiste to step aside, in a move designed to leave councillor Catherine Ardagh unopposed in Dublin South Central.

But Mr de Roiste (right) point-blank refused the request – prompting the party to postpone the selection convention,  which had been scheduled for Wednesday night.

The row has been brought to the attention of Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, who met Mr de Roiste in Leinster House yesterday to discuss the issue.

READ MORE: FF is 'too macho', says party candidate

Fianna Fail sources last night said the attempt to persuade Mr de Roiste to step aside for a female candidate illustrates the party’s struggle to meet the gender quota targets.

But the move will also raise concern for other potential candidates who may lose out as a result of future directives from headquarters.

There is speculation in the party that a directive may be issued to the party’s Dun Laoghaire branch that a female candidate be put forward for the election.

The gender quota rules, which state that 30pc of parties’ candidates must be female, have proven particularly challenging for Fianna Fail.

Mr de Roiste, who is chairman of Dublin City’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC),

was elected with almost 1,300 votes in the Ballyfermot

ward in the local elections last May. Ms Ardagh secured just over 850 votes in the Crumlin/Kimmage ward.

Contacted last night, Mr de Roiste said he did not wish to comment on “internal party matters”.

“Internal party matters are not my priority,” Mr de Roiste told the Herald.

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