Fianna Fail in Longford is set for a major showdown tonight following a decision by the party that the candidate selected in Longford must be female. The candidates were notified about the decision last night.
Three candidates are in the running for the nomination - Cllr Seamus Butler, Pat O’Rourke and Connie Gerety-Quinn.
Former Chairperson of the Longford CDC Noel Conway this morning issued a call to arms to party members.
“Following the decision by Fianna Fail Headquarters to impose a candidate on Longford Fianna Fail based on gender quota requirements it is critical that all members turn out tonight and make their feelings known,” he said.
“We have three excellent candidates nominated to contest the convention anyone of which we would be delighted to support in order to regain the Fianna Fail seat in Longford but he/she must be selected by secret ballot by the Fianna fail members in Longford. This is the only way a truly democratic party can operate,it is what we signed up to after the 2011 general election and it is why we pay our membership fee.”
Candidate Pat O’Rourke this morning issued an appeal to Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin to intervene in this matter to allow members a free vote.
There is speculation that Longford Fianna Fail members will insist on the vote taking place tonight. Deputy Barry Cowen is chairing the convention.