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Sunday 4 December 2016

Shatter selected for FG Dublin-Rathdown ticket

Cllr John Kennedy, Cllr Neale Richmond, Alan Shatter TD and Cllr Josepha Madigan at the Fine Gael selection convention
Cllr John Kennedy, Cllr Neale Richmond, Alan Shatter TD and Cllr Josepha Madigan at the Fine Gael selection convention

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter won the political fight of his career to secure a place on the Fine Gael ticket for the next general election.

The TD fought off stiff competition from local councillor Neale Richmond to ultimately win 76 to 67 votes.

Mr Shatter was one of four FG members contesting the selection convention for the new Dublin-Rathdown constituency, and the battle intensified when party bosses issued a directive instructing delegates to pick one female and one male candidate.

This pitted Mr Shatter against Mr Richmond to be the male nominee. Party activist John Kennedy had also put his name forward.

Fine Gael TD Olivia Mitchell's decision to retire from politics means many of her supporters were expected to back Mr Richmond.

Mr Shatter's popularity locally suffered in the wake of the various garda and justice controversies that forced him to resign from cabinet last year.

And he was faced with a further battle, with many of his supporters now moved into the neighbouring constituency of Dublin South-West. The boundary redraw has reduced the number of seats from five to three.

It was standing-room only in the Goat Grill last night and it was always destined to be a close-run thing. Around 200 were crammed into the room, including a trio of Mr Richmond's supporters who marched in straight from rugby training in Old Wesley.

Then Mr Shatter took the stage. He said he did not want to see "Gerry Adams as Taoiseach and minister for defence, Mick Wallace as justice minister and Shane Ross as minister for finance, getting advice from Syriza".

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