Hanafin urged to withdraw after Fianna Fáil campaign blunder

A former Fianna Fáil minister has urged Mary Hanafin to withdraw from council elections following a "farcical" campaign blunder.

Hanafin urged to withdraw after Fianna Fáil campaign blunder

Ex-minister Martin Mansergh called on Ms Hanafin to pull out by tomorrow’s nominations deadline after an embarrassing episode for the party.

In a situation one Fianna Fáil TD described as “farcical”, Ms Hanafin was approached by party chiefs last week to stand in Blackrock Dublin after private polling showed two seats were within reach. However, FF sources insist this offer was withdrawn on Friday after the national constituency committee took the view of sitting candidate Katie Feeney that the move would split the vote and risk no seats being taken.

Ex-education minister Mary Hanafin lodged her nomination papers as a Fianna Fáil candidate, and the party top brass now want her out of the race.

One TD said: “Its a mess. Its farcical. We have no TDs in Dublin at all and this is hardly going to improve our credibility there.”

Asked if Ms Hanafin had been treated in a shabby fashion by Fianna Fáil high command, a senior source said: “None of this would have been in the public eye if she had not chosen to go public with it. We now expect her to withdraw.”

The spat is deeply embarrassing for Fianna Fáil as it reopens wounds over the party’s failure to field a presidential candidate in 2011 and an internal row over how the Dublin Euro election race was handled.

It is a poor start to Fianna Fáil’s strategy of re-establishing an “urban foothold”.

Critics of Micheál Martin’s leadership have warned failure to make a major comeback in Dublin will raise serious questions of his suitability for the job.

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