FG to name Dublin south candidate

FINE GAEL has promised to put political speculators out of their misery and announce its widely anticipated candidate for the Dublin south by-election today.

It has promised a well-known name who will come from within the field of candidates which have churned through the rumour mill in recent weeks.

These have included among others RTÉ’s economics editor, George Lee, former Progressive Democrat Liz O’Donnell and Jim Miley, the party’s ex-general secretary and chief executive of MyHome.ie until last week.

An RTÉ spokeswoman said Mr Lee has continually said he was not up for nomination and this remained the case. Mr Miley did not return calls.

The party itself has refused to comment on any of the names and said the identity will emerge later. This will be confirmed at a selection convention tomorrow night.

Fine Gael’s director of elections for the constituency, Deputy Brian Hayes, said the party nominations will be finalised by branches tonight but the choice will be likely to become clear before then.

He said it will be somebody with whom people in the constituency will be familiar.

Economist Jim Power, whose name was suggested in association with the party, said there was no truth whatsoever in rumours linking him with a run.

He said he was “angry and annoyed” at the tendency to tie him with the election despite never having been contacted by Fine Gael.

“I have never been a member of a political party and never will,” he said.

The Fine Gael selection convention will take place as Fianna Fáil gathers to choose its candidate.

At the weekend Shay Brennan declared his interest in the party’s nomination. He is the son of former minister Seamus Brennan, whose death caused the vacancy in Dublin south.

Yesterday he denied his job at Anglo Irish Bank would negatively affect a potential campaign. He also said politics was a vocation he had felt drawn towards.

He will be up against Senator Maria Corrigan, a former councillor from the area, who was considered in line to stand on June 5 for Fianna Fáil.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said yesterday he was not concerned by the selections of the other parties and was confident on the prospects of his candidate, Alex White.

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