BITTER WAR OF WORDS OVER FF SELECTION PROCEDURE
A battle of words has exploded between retiring Mitchelstown TD, Ned O’Keeffe and his party colleague Cllr Frank O’Flynn concerning Mr O’Keeffe’s decision to retire from politics and the selection of his son Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe to contest the general election in his place. Cllr O’Flynn last week told The Avondhu that he was shocked at the conduct of Deputy O’Keeffe.
“I am shocked at the way he (Deputy O’Keeffe) has treated the party members and indeed the other delegates at the convention.”
The Glanworth councillor went on to say that had he known that Deputy O’Keeffe was resigning he would have gone forward to seek the Fianna Fail party’s nomination to contest the upcoming election.
“Deputy O’Keeffe said on a daily basis that he would be contesting the election, his actions are very strange and I am disappointed as are many other people at his conduct,” Cllr O’Flynn said.
NED HITS BACK
In response to Cllr O’Flynn’s allegations of misconduct Deputy O’Keeffe told The Avondhu, “I was rather shocked and surprised at the outlandish comments of Frank O’Flynn. It is no shock that I am resigning at the age of 69 years. There was no misconduct at the convention in Midleton as stated by Frank, which he did not attend. The people that were entitled to know about where I stood were the delegates to convention.”
Deputy O’Keeffe went on to outline the procedures in place for any would-be candidate at a party convention.
“There is a procedure in place within the Fianna Fail party to select election candidates and no one stopped Frank putting his name forward for selection on this occasion. Fianna Fail wrote to all public representatives, cumann secretaries and chairpersons on December 3 last seeking nominations for candidates to contest this general election. Frank would have received such a letter and an enclosed nomination paper also.”
“In addition to this, the general election has been discussed at all national executive meetings, of which he is a member, in October, November, December 2010 and, even as late as January 2011, the night that Micheal Martin was proposed and seconded as chairperson of the party.
"There are a total of 60 cumainn in the Cork East constituency and I understand only 20 nominated a candidate so he could easily have sought a nomination from any of these cumainn if he so wished. Any person who is a member of the party can be nominated whether an existing deputy is outgoing or not,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
With these procedures in place Deputy O’Keeffe said that Cllr O’Flynn if he wanted to be nominated should have attended the convention and put his name forward for selection by his local cumann.
“Frank is very well aware of the procedure as he was nominated as a candidate for the general election in 2007 and withdrew his nomination at the convention. Following on from that he proceeded to place newspaper advertisements against my candidature in the 2007 general election.
"Frank was also aware that there were three attempts made to hold the convention, as Micheal Martin was to preside at same. A further deferment occurred when the meeting venue was changed.”
STOP THE BICKERING
Deputy O’Keeffe also called on Cllr O’Flynn to stop the bickering and support the Fianna Fail party.
“Frank O’Flynn should state clearly why he did not attend the convention. I am asking him to give up this trickery and fall in line with the party at a time when its fortunes are the lowest in history. In conclusion, Frank could have but did not seek a nomination,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
Thursday 3rd February 5:17pm