By Harry McGee, Political Editor
CHRIS ANDREWS, the son of former MEP Niall Andrews, was last night selected as a Fianna Fáil Dáil candidate for the Dublin South East constituency.
At the party’s selection convention, Mr Andrews was nominated in the fourth count ahead of barrister Jim O’Callaghan, a brother of RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan.
Mr Andrews lead from the first count and when selected on the fourth count, he had 51 votes compared to 31 for Mr O’Callaghan.
When third-placed candidate Gary Keegan was eliminated after the third round with 25 votes, Mr Andrews picked up 20 of them, with only five going to his nearest rival. Senator Mary White came in fourth.
The losing candidates, and Senator John Hanafin, will now seek to be added to the ticket by party headquarters. It is certain Fianna Fáil will run two candidates in this tight four-seat constituency, where the party’s MEP Eoin Ryan is the outgoing TD.
Both Mr Andrews’s father and uncle were TDs and his cousin, Barry, is a TD in Dun Laoghaire.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil headquarters last night insisted that its decision to scrap any further convention in Galway West was final.
The strategy of party headquarters to field three candidates in Galway West was fiercely resisted by some delegates who demanded the party should have four.
Yesterday, Comhairle Dáilcheantar chairman John Joe Higgins told the Irish Examiner he was hopeful a convention could be held.
But a party spokesperson in Dublin firmly ruled out any further convention. The decision of a national convention committee, chaired by Brian Cowen, was final.
It decided the two sitting TDs, Eamon Ó Cuiv and Frank Fahey, be selected, and a third candidate be selected after an interview process.
And the Labour Party in Cork North Central last night selected its sitting TD, Kathleen Lynch, as its candidate for the next election.