Battle in FF as Ahern camp aims for election
SUPPORTERS of ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are trying to block efforts by former Dublin City councillor Mary Fitzpatrick to run in her third consecutive General Election.
Ms Fitzpatrick (top right) faces the prospect of being defeated at the upcoming Fianna Fail selection convention in Dublin Central by party activist Brian Mohan (bottom right), whose family were previously canvassers for Mr Ahern.
While Mr Mohan has not formally decided whether to run, he is coming under pressure to do so.
The 29-year-old made national headlines during the local elections in May, after Mr Ahern attended a campaign rally and openly criticised Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
Speaking at the event at the Skylon Hotel in Drumcondra, Mr Ahern said he "doesn't think much" of Mr Martin, adding that the party was doing "fairly brutal".
"I don't think much of the leader, I think you all know that. I'm not going to say anything nice about him," Mr Ahern said.
Mr Ahern is friends with Mr Mohan's father Noel, who he said "worked his toenails off for me" during previous campaigns.
Despite the support of Mr Ahern and the so-called 'Drumcondra Mafia', Mr Mohan failed to secure a seat in the Dublin Central Ward.
He told the Herald last night that he is considering his options, adding that the local branch is keen to ensure a young candidate is put forward at the election.
Party sources confirmed last night that Mr Mohan is being encouraged by supporters of Mr Ahern to run in a move that could scupper Ms Fitzpatrick's chances.
Mr Ahern previously sent out leaflets in the 2007 and 2011 campaigns urging people to vote for his running mate Cyprian Brady, making no reference to Ms Fitzpatrick, who was also a candidate.