Fianna Fail face ‘Armageddon’ if gender diktat is made

Fianna Fail chiefs have been warned they will face an "Armageddon-like backlash" if a gender quota is issued at the upcoming Longford election convention.
Fianna Fail chiefs have been warned they will face an “Armageddon like backlash” if they issue a gender quota diktat at its upcoming Longford convention.

Fianna Fail chiefs have been warned they will face an “Armageddon like backlash” if they issue a gender quota diktat at its upcoming Longford convention.

That was the warning delivered by Cllr Seamus Butler this week following a stormy Dublin South Central selection contest last week.

Prominent Dublin City Councillor Daithí de Róiste was told his name was being overlooked in favour of Catherine Ardagh, a decision which prompted claims of “gendermandering”.

Giving his reaction to the ruling, Cllr Butler said should a similar directive be made locally, the possbility of a walkout or worse could suddenly arise.

“It would be inconceivable that they (party headquarters) would (issue gender diktat),” he said.

“All I’m looking for is a fair three-way fight.

“Anything else would be unacceptable.”

Cllr Butler said such an intervention would be highly contentious given the large amount of canvassing and behind the scenes work that has already gone into his campaign.

“As the only elected member of the three candidates it would be extremely perverse of them to impose a diktat and I think members would be up in arms over it.”

His convention rival, Pat O’Rourke suggested one way out of the dilemma could be found by adding Athlone based candidate, Emer Gavin to the party ticket.

He said he would be making that proposal clear in an email to CDC chairman, Pat Donnelly over the weekend.

“Why should there be any difference to what happened in Westmeath (Convention)? Mr O’Rourke asked.

“What is expected is that the Longford Convention proceeds in a free and open fashion.

“Why should we, in Longford, operate under different rules?”

The third and last nominee to enter the race, Connie Gerety Quinn refused to be drawn on the matter.

Instead, Ms Gerety-Quinn said all that was focusing her mind was ensuring all voting delegates are canvassed before any convention is held.

She also insisted she had not heard any murmurings from party insiders which suggested a gender diktat was on the cards.

“It’s just speculation,” she told the Leader.

“I have not been made aware of anything other than that a convention date is being set.”