Sunday 23 October 2016

Fianna Fail wants Lenihan to run in Roscommon

Conor Lenihan. Photo: Tom Burke
Conor Lenihan. Photo: Tom Burke

FIANNA FAIL has approached former junior minister Conor Lenihan with a view to him running as a candidate in his family’s former stronghold of Roscommon.

The 52-year-old confirmed that he had been sounded out by senior party members to put his name before the selection convention in the newly formed constituency of Roscommon-Galway.

The brother of the late finance minister Brian Lenihan said he is “flattered” by the approach.

Both his father, Brian Snr, who served as Tanaiste, and his uncle, Patrick, were elected to the Dail in Roscommon.

Mr Lenihan announced earlier this month that he would return to politics if approached.

Last night he admitted he has been in discussions with the party for several weeks.

“A number of senior members of the Roscommon organisation have approached me with a view to me running in the constituency,” said Mr Lenihan.

“I emphasise that I am not pushing myself on the constituency.

“It is a matter for them to decide who will be best to win a seat in Roscommon,” he added.


“I am flattered and honoured that they have taken the step to approach me.”

Mr Lenihan, who was first elected to Leinster House in 1997, lost his seat in Dublin South West in 2011.

Former justice minister Mary O’Rourke – Mr Lenihan’s aunt – said he had discussed the matter with her.

“I said it is very fraught. We went through the participants in the by-election,” she said.

Ms O’Rourke indicated that a Fianna Fail seat is not a certainty in the constituency, but added that Mr Lenihan has toured the area ahead of a possible election bid.

“It’s a big risk against the non-likelihood of a FF seat,” she said.

“I sense they are in quite a bit of despair in Roscommon. It is in a state of flux.”

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