herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

FF wants defector McGuinness to pay party back €17,400

FIANNA Fail Councillor Kate Feeney has thrown her hat in the ring to seek the party's nomination to run for the Dail in Dun Laoghaire.

Her decision to go forward means the first-time councillor will resume her rivalry with former minister Mary Hanafin.

In a repeat of the 'Battle of Blackrock', Ms Feeney said today that she would be contesting the Fianna Fail selection convention, expected to take place before the end of next month.

Speaking to the Herald, Ms Feeney said: "Competition within party is good, it makes us all work harder.

"The next general election will not be an easy one for Fianna Fail, but with the right candidate I believe the party can regain a seat in Dun Laoghaire."

Amid a botched nomination process, Ms Feeney and Ms Hanafin fought a bitter battle for council seats in last year's local elections.

Both were elected to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the Blackrock ward and will now be seeking the Fianna Fail nomination to run in the general election in the south Dublin constituency.

Dun Laoghaire-based councillor Cormac Devlin is also set to contest.

Ms Hanafin last night said that Ms Feeney's entrance into the race would not deter her.

"The best person should go forward. But there should be evidence to find out who that is," she said.

Meanwhile, FF is exploring ways to make its former councillor David McGuinness "pay back" over €17,000 in funds after he resigned from the party.

The Herald wants to recoup payments to Mr McGuinness after two unsuccessful by elections. The party is also seeking the return of IT equipment.

Concern

Mr McGuinness, who is now an independent councillor on Fingal County Council, resigned from the party yesterday having expressed grave concerns as to how the party is being run.

Last night Mr McGuinness said: "I am not interested in threats the party might want to make. I don't think they are as naive as to think they can get it back."

hnews@herald.ie

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