Battle between Prim Aunt and Babyface set to go to the wire
THE battle royale between Fianna Fail's prim aunt and babyface is set to go down to the wire.
Ministers Mary Hanafin and Barry Andrews have both been given promotions by Micheal Martin -- despite refusing point blank to move from Dun Laoghaire to Dublin South.
The duo are now set to contest the so-called 'constituency of death' where it seems inevitable that one or both of them will lose out.
Party strategists had hoped that one of the high-profile TDs would agree to move constituency but neither would agree to budge.
And in an attempt to boost their chances, Mr Martin handed them two plum jobs in spite of their close living quarters.
He has accepted that they will both be on the ticket in Dun Laoghaire, which is changing from a five-seat area to just four seats.
Ms Hanafin is now the party's deputy leader while Mr Andrews is in charge of the highly topical health portfolio.
Explaining why he won't force either to change, Mr Martin said: "People have long attachments, commitment and engagement with their constituencies as outgoing TDs.
"That has to be acknowledged through work and family and living and growing up and representing people."
Dun Laoghaire is set to be an electoral bloodbath with Fine Gael and Labour both fighting for two seats of the four seats on offer.
Fine Gael is running its foreign affairs spokesman Sean Barrett and schoolteacher Mary Mitchell O'Connor. And Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is hoping to be joined by Ivana Bacik with a seat in the area.