A major split in Longford Fianna Fail is looming ahead of tonight’s meeting of the CDC at which members will be asked to vote for their preferred candidate.
Speaking last night, unsuccessful candidate Pat O’Rourke once again asked Micheal Martin, leader of Fianna Fail, to intervene in the matter.
“I am appealing to Michael Martin not to turn his back on local Fianna Fáil members and to accept the democratic decision they make on Wednesday night in Longford, let the members vote and if that preferred candidate is male, add him to the ticket alongside the female candidate; and if the female candidate wins we will all unite behind her.”
He also claimed that party members want to resolve the issue with Fianna Fail chiefs rather than allow the row to play out through the media.
“We are still willing to work with Fianna Fáil headquarters. At this point everyone wants common sense to prevail. The great tragedy of this fiasco is that it’s taking the spotlight away from the issues that matter most to the people of Longford / Westmeath. Rather than seeing politicians bickering in the media, we should be debating the very serious issues that most affect day-to-day life in this part of the country – unemployment, cutbacks to services, rural crime, broadband access, infrastructure and access to health care.”
However he did go on to criticise, once again, the decision not to hold a vote at the previous convention.
“The actions by Fianna Fáil headquarters to ignore local members, deny them their right to vote and impose an unknown candidate is an insult to those who have stayed with the party through good times and bad.”
However not all members of Fianna Fail in Longford unaminously back the decision to hold a vote at tonight’s meeting. One source told longfordleader.ie that he would not be voting for any candidate and felt that the issue was dividing the party locally.
All eyes will turn to tonight’s meeting in the Longford Arms Hotel to see both how many people turn up and which way they vote, if at all.