Around 150 people gathered inside the Longford Arms Hotel on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing fallout from Fianna Fail’s selection convention at the end of October. However, while the much-hyped meeting allowed people to vent their anger and frustration, no further action was taken.
It had been expected that a vote, to select the local organisation’s “preferred” candidate, would be forwarded to the party’s Ard Comhairle for consideration.
However on the night, those in attendance decided not to hold any vote. Seamus Butler, one of the unsuccessful candidates in the selection convention, was one of a number of people who voiced their opposition to the decision to hold Wednesday’s meeting in the first place and he confirmed that he would not be allowing his name to go forward for a vote on the night.
Instead it was decided to wait until the next meeting of the Ard Comhairle, on December 10, to see if a previous proposal to reconvene the selection convention would be held. Party sources say that this is highly unlikely, In a further development party leader Micheal Martin told the Irish Examiner that regardless of local members’ views, the candidates for Longford-Westmeath have already been decided and no changes will be made.
Many people are now wondering what the next step for the local Fianna Fail party will be and some members are admitting, privately, that it is time for the party to put the matter behind them and support Connie Gerety Quinn, the party’s candidate in Longford. However juding from some of the angry exchanges at Wednesday’s meeting, this is unlikely to happen just yet.