The Fianna Fáíl leader Micháel Martin has denied there is an "old boys club" in the party, after a row about election nominations.
He was responding to criticism from a Fianna Fáil councillor who has lashed out at a decision to add a second candidate to her election ticket.
Deirdre Heney had defeated Sean Haughey in the convention for Dublin Bay North, but councillor Haughey has been added by headquarters anyway.
Mr Martin said there was nothing personal about the decision.
He said: "After the research and the work that the committee have done, they are of the view that the optimal way to win the seat is to have the two candidates that we have.
"Both Sean Haughey and Deirdre Heney are two very good candidates and I think it will be very competitive in a very difficult and challenging constituency, as indeed all of our Dublin constituencies will be."