Fianna Fáil to take action over Hanafin election candidacy

Tuesday 06 May 2014 22.28
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Mary Hanafin was a TD for Dún Laoghaire from 1997 to 2011
Mary Hanafin was a TD for Dún Laoghaire from 1997 to 2011
Ms Hanafin told Today with Seán O'Rourke she had been given no reason why she should stand aside
Ms Hanafin told Today with Seán O'Rourke she had been given no reason why she should stand aside

Former minister Mary Hanafin's decision to defy her party leadership and contest the Local Elections in Blackrock, in Dublin, has been referred to Fianna Fáil's ruling body.

Ms Hanafin said she will not be withdrawing her name and will stand in the election in defiance of her party's wishes.

Party leader Micheál Martin said it was with great disappointment that the former minister had chosen to ignore the "long established ratification process" when she lodged her nomination papers, despite clear instructions to the contrary.

Her actions were being referred to the Ard Chomhairle, Mr Martin said.

He said the party would be supporting what he said was the "properly ratified candidate" Kate Feeney.

Ms Hanafin did not withdraw her name by the midday deadline today.

She will appear on the ballot paper as a Fianna Fáil candidate because she received official nomination documents from party headquarters before ratification was refused.

Ms Hanafin confirmed she would be standing when she spoke to RTÉ's Today with Seán O'Rourke.

She said she had been contacted by the party's general secretary last Wednesday and asked to run.  

Ms Hanafin said she had agreed the following day and picked up official party forms on Friday.

The former minister said standing had not been on her radar and there was no question of her "muscling in".

Ms Hanafin said she had spoken to Mr Martin and insisted Ms Feeney should be informed.

She said she was told that evening that the party had changed its mind.

Party Secretary General Sean Dorgan asked her to withdraw on Saturday.

Ms Hanafin confirmed that Mr Martin had asked her to withdraw on three occasions since the weekend.

She told the programme that she had been given opinion poll evidence to show that she could enhance the party's vote, but had been given no reason why she should now stand aside.

Ms Hanafin said it was now for the people of Blackrock to decide whether she would be a councillor.

She had support from members of the parliamentary party and from councillors around the country, she insisted, claiming that party headquarters had "made a hames of things".

Ms Hanafin said she would not do anything to damage the party but had been asked to stand in good faith.