Mary Fitzpatrick wins Fianna Fail convention as rival quits over gender quotas
BERTIE Ahern’s Dublin Central rival Mary Fitzpatrick has been selected as Fianna Fail’s general election candidate for the constituency after a stormy selection convention last night.
Ms Fitzpatrick secured her place on the ticket after the only other candidate, Denise McMorrow, pulled out in protest at the party’s decision to impose a gender diktat on the constituency as Fianna Fail struggles to comply with the new quote rules.
Quitting the contest, Ms McMorrow hit out at gender quotas and said she “could not believe” that another party member in the area, Brian Mohan, wasn’t allowed to compete for a place on the ticket.
She added that the decision to step aside was a “very difficult one” and called for the party to rally behind Ms Fitzpatrick who, she said, was an excellent candidate.
Ms Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, also expressed criticism of
the gender quota ruling,
saying she was “expecting a vote” but added the she was delighted to be “unanimously selected”.
Tensions were high at the convention in the Skylon Hotel over party HQ’s decision to run woman candidate, ruling out a run by Mr Mohan, whose family were supporters of former Taosieach Bertie Ahern.
Shouting could be heard erupting from the function room with a party spokesperson saying the gender quota was causing “issues”.
Ms Fitzpatrick said afterwards that she’s satisfied she has the backing of Fianna Fail in the constituency.
“I feel I have the support of the party members, not universally, but still great support.”
She described gender quotas as an “anti-democratic and anti-female law”.
“What it creates is a crazy dynamic which is not going to introduce one single woman into the Dail. All it creates is token female candidates,” she said.