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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Shock defeat for Haughey as Heney is selected by Fianna Fail

Politics

Fianna Fail councillor Deirdre Heney has recorded a dramatic victory in the race to represent her party in the highly-competitive Dublin Bay North constituency.

Ms Heney defeated former minister Sean Haughey by just two votes following a tense selection convention in Clontarf Castle last night.

Councillor Tom Brabazon and Aileen Woods pulled out of the contest, leaving delegates with a choice between Ms Heney, a well-respected Dublin city councillor, and Mr Haughey, the son of the late Charles J Haughey. The defeated candidate refused to discuss his loss this morning.

Cllr Brabazon meanwhile, said he thinks another name should go on the ticket.

"Yes I do believe a second candidate should be added. It's a matter for party HQ to approach who they consider to be the best man or woman to bolster the party vote."

EXPECTED

Fianna Fail chiefs ordered that just one candidate be selected last night. Privately, sources had expected Mr Haughey to win.

Speaking after the convention, Ms Heney said she was "honoured and humbled" to be chosen by party members.

"This election will determine the future direction of Dublin and this country," she added.

"People are looking for leadership and a new way forward. I will be a strong voice for people in Dublin Bay North and I look forward to visiting every home in the constituency over the coming months.

"I want to pay tribute to Cllr Tom Brabazon, Cllr Sean Haughey and Aileen Woods. All of them are extremely hard-working representatives in this constituency."

The selection convention was held just weeks after Senator Averil Power shocked colleagues by quitting the party. Ms Power, who has not ruled out running as an independent, strongly criticised members of the Fianna Fail front bench for their failure to campaign for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum.

She also accused party leader Micheal Martin of being a "leader without followers".

Dublin Bay North has been newly-configured for the upcoming election, leaving six TDs fighting for just five seats. Fine Gael is putting three candidates forward.

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