A Fianna Fáil convention to select General Election candidates for the five-seat Galway West constituency ended in disarray tonight - after delegates refused to accept a 'three-candidate strategy' recommended by party headquarters.

During a heated two-hour debate, the majority of the 350 delegates demanded that four candidates should be allowed to run, claiming it was the only way the party could maximise its vote.

The convention chairman, Labour Affairs Minister Tony Killeen, told them there was a directive from the party's Constituencies Committee that only three candidates should be selected.

When delegates refused to accept this, he adjourned the convention.

Afterwards, a spokeswoman for Fianna Fáil said senior party officials would be having talks with the organisation in the Galway West constituency to try to resolve the issue in the coming weeks.

Fianna Fáil holds just two of the five seats in Galway West.

Its sitting TDs are Gaeltacht Minister Eamon Ó Cuív and Minister of State Frank Fahey.

Following withdrawals at tonight’s convention, the two remaining candidates were Cllr Mary Hoade and Cllr Seamus Walsh.