Verona Murphy confirms she has been deselected as Fine Gael election candidate

Verona Murphy confirms she has been deselected as Fine Gael election candidate

Controversial Wexford candidate Verona Murphy has confirmed that she has been deselected to run for Fine Gael for the general election.

The development comes ahead of a national executive party meeting this evening at which her removal from the ballot paper will be formally endorsed by officials.

It is understood that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, who is overseeing selection of candidates for the next election, informed Ms Murphy of the party's decision yesterday.

It is also understood that the minister was met with anger and frustration by local members in Wexford at a meeting over the issue.

One report suggested Mr Donohoe was told at the meeting that “Wexford would not be dictated to by Dublin”.

Ms Murphy has confirmed to South East radio that she has been removed from the Fine Gael ticket.

The decision comes after her controversial remarks during the recent Wexford byelection at which she claimed asylum seekers who come to Ireland needed to be "deprogrammed" as they may have been influenced by ISIS.

She also claimed that three-year-olds had been manipulated by the terrorist group.

But the controversy did not end there. Despite apologising during the campaign, the Irish Road Haulage president went on to back a video in her name in which she hit back at criticisms and also laid the blame with the media.

Fine Gael's national executive council meeting had been expected to address her continued position on the ticket for the next general election.

Fine Gael will also have to decide whether to add a third candidate again to its Wexford campaign, alongside sitting TDs Michael D'Arcy and Paul Kehoe.

It now remains for Ms Murphy to decide whether she will run as an Independent candidate. She is expected to give a full interview about her position and reaction to being deselected on South East radio tomorrow morning.

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