herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Forget the Battle of Blackrock - it's war in Dun Laoghaire

It's going to be war in Dun Laoghaire in the fight for seats in the next election, according to former Minister Mary Hanafin.

After a botched Fianna Fail nomination process last year which saw her go head to head in a high-profile battle for a council seat with Kate Feeney both were eventually elected to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the Blackrock ward.

It has now emerged that the two councillors will be seeking the Fianna Fail nomination to run in the general election in the south Dublin constituency.

"That battle of Blackrock is well over," Ms Hanafin said to last year's events.

"The war of Dun Laoghaire now is the one that's coming up, where four existing TDs into three will not go, and add in the rest of us and that is where the real war has to be won at the next election," she said.

Ms Hanafin said that there are about eight councillors in Dun Laoghaire, all of whom would like to run.

"I mean that's the internal battle. The bigger battle is actually winning the seat, which we may or may not win," she pointed out.

She said the party should only run one candidate in the election.

In 2011 both Hanafin and Barry Andrews lost out on their seats in the general election.

"I would very strongly say we should only run one candidate," Ms Hanafin said.

Criticised

"We are still being criticised for the last election where we ran two, and we didn't have a choice in the last election because we had two ministers. So it should be one candidate," she added.

She revealed that if she is not selected to run for Fianna Fail, she will not run as an independent.

"No I will not run as an independent, that would be entirely disingenuous of me," she said.

"I mean people know who I am what I stand for and I will contest as the Mary Hanafin they know, and the one that continues to work hard in Dun Laoghaire," she said.

The Fianna Fail selection convention is expected to take place before the end of next month.

It emerged on Thursday that Kate Feeney was throwing her hat into the ring for the party's nomination to run for the Dail.

Another Fianna Fail councillor Cormac Devlin is also set to contest the election.

Meanwhile, Ms Hanafin said that the party performed better in the local elections, and more councillors were elected than the opinion polls indicated.

"We are the largest party now in local government and I think that impact is being seen," she added.

fdillon@herald.ie

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