Mary Hanafin: The Battle of Blackrock is well over, now it’s the War of Dún Laoghaire

Hugh O'Connell

Updated 2.30pm

MARY HANAFIN HAS said she will not run as independent if she fails to win the Fianna Fáil nomination to run in Dún Laoghaire at the next election.

The former minister said it would be “entirely disingenuous” of her to run as an independent and insisted the next election is not about her.

Hanafin was speaking on declared her intention to seek the Fianna Fáil nomination in Dún Laoghaire

Feeney and Hanafin fought a high-profile battle for council seats in last year’s local elections. After Fianna Fáil botched the nominating process, Hanafin ended up running as an ‘unofficial’ party candidate alongside Feeney.

Both were elected to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and will now both be seeking the Fianna Fáil nomination to run in the general election in the south Dublin constituency. It’s being being billed as a resumption of the ‘Battle of Blackrock’.

Voting Begins
Voting Begins

But Hanafin told RTÉ that the internal party battle was not important and that the bigger battle would be winning the seat:

“That Battle of Blackrock is well over, the war of Dún Laoghaire now is the one that’s coming up, where four existing TDs into three will not go and add in the rest of us and that’s where the real war has to be won at the next election.”

Hanafin also said that Fianna Fáil should only run one candidate in the constituency, believing it represents the best chance of winning a seat.

“We’re still being criticised for the last election, where we ran two, and we didn’t have a choice at the last election because we had two ministers,” she said.

Feeney shares Hanafin’s view but believes that party members in the constituency should vote for her to be that candidate, saying she represents a change from the party old guard.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie yesterday, the first-time councillor said: “A lot of people are saying there hasn’t really been any change.

“There has been change in the party and we need to start showing that. We have a strong base of young candidates coming forward. I think it’s time they are given a chance.”

Another Fianna Fáil councillor, Dún Laoghaire-based Cormac Devlin, also intends to contest the selection convention, which is due to take place before the end of May. He told this website that the battle for the nomination is about “policies, not personalities”.

“It’s about the future direction of Fianna Fail and how we can best represent hard-pressed families who care about issues that matter like the lack of housing, mortgage arrears and childcare,” he insisted.

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