Blaney stuns FF by not contesting election

Fianna Fáil's Niall Blaney has become the latest TD to announce that he will not contest the General Election.

Fianna Fáil's Niall Blaney has become the latest TD to announce that he will not contest the General Election.

He surprised colleagues at the Donegal North East selection convention last night claiming he made his decision for "personal reasons".

It comes as the party leader Micheál Martin prepares to announce the line-up for his new front-bench team today.

There is speculation that he will bring back former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea.

Mr Martin is going to include a number of younger faces, with the likes of Mayo TD Dara Colleary likely to be given a senior job and possibly the deputy leadership.

Meanwhile, following the resignation of Noel O'Flynn from Cork North Central yesterday the new party leader will be looking closely at constituencies where Fianna Fáil is running two candidates but only in with a shot of holding one seat.

All eyes will be on the constituency of Dun Laoghaire to see if the party will run Ministers Barry Andrews and Mary Hanafin and risk both of them losing out.

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