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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Hanafin's election bid takes blow with defeat

Mary Hanafin
Mary Hanafin

FORMER Education Minister Mary Hanafin's bid to become Fianna Fail's candidate in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown took a blow when the candidate she backed for the party's national executive was beaten by a member supported by her rival.

Annette McAllister, who worked on several of Ms Hanafin's election campaigns, lost out to Luke Martin, who is a supporter of local Fianna Fail Cllr Cormac Devlin.

Ms Devlin and Ms Hanafin are both seeking to be selected as the party's candidate at a forthcoming selection convention.

Kate Feeney, who was locked in a bitter battle with Ms Hanafin ahead of 2015's local election, and Jennifer Cuffe are also contesting in what has been dubbed the 'War of Dun Laoghaire'.

Significance

The local membership voted on who should represent the branch on the Fianna Fail national executive. Mr Martin narrowly beat Ms McAllister - however, party sources said the result is hugely significant ahead of the convention.

"It does not mean Devlin is the frontrunner, but it is positive news for his camp," a source said.

Ms Hanafin yesterday played down the significance of the vote saying it was "entirely separate" from the selection convention.

At the branch meeting where Mr Martin was selected, minutes of a previous meeting were given to members.

A leaked copy recorded Ms Hanafin as describing Fianna Fail being in "stalemate" and saying the party "stands for nothing".

Ms Hanafin said the minutes were an "oversimplification" of what she said.

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