O KEEFFE STUNS CONVENTION AND BOWS OUT
After months of denials, rumours and speculation, Deputy Ned O’Keeffe stunned delegates at the Fianna Fail Cork East selection convention at the Midleton Park Hotel this week.
Deputy O’Keeffe’s shock announcement that he would not be contesting the general election and was retiring from politics was somewhat of a surprise seeing as the colourful Mitchelstown TD had told the press at the door of the hotel that he was, in fact, running again.
In typical Ned fashion, the Mitchelstown deputy kept the convention waiting for a full 35 minutes before he arrived, walked to the podium, signed the candidate’s pledge and then announced he was retiring.
LOST ITS WAY
“The party has lost its way,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
“We have become a party of golfers and race goers and we did not listen to the ordinary people of Ireland. I believe that Micheal Martin is the right man to lead the party. However, I will not be running in the election and I know that my son Kevin will be a fine candidate for Fianna Fail in Cork East,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
The convention was chaired by Minister for Trade and Commerce, Billy Kelleher TD who praised Deputy O’Keeffe for his work over the past 28 years as a member of the Oireachtas. Deputy O’Keeffe’s son, Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe will now contest the upcoming election along with veteran TD, Michael Ahern on the Fianna Fail Cork East ticket.
“I am honoured to be given the chance to stand for Fianna Fail and for the people of Cork East. It will be a very difficult election but I have served a very good apprenticeship under my father,” Cllr O’Keeffe told The Avondhu.
Speaking to The Avondhu Deputy Ned O’Keeffe repeated his views that Fianna Fail had lost it way.
“I am on record as saying that I fear that Fianna Fail could get less then 12 seats and I stand over this. When Brian Cowen was first mentioned as party leader I approached Micheal Martin at the time and urged him to run for the leadership but he refused. Now, I feel we have lost touch with the ordinary people and it will take a long time to get this trust back.”
HAUGHEY THE BEST
Deputy O’Keeffe went on to say that Charlie Haughey was the best Taoiseach he served with in his 28 years in the Dail.
“Charlie was the best and we need more like him,” the deputy said.
When asked what he thought about the facts that have since emerged about the former Taoiseach, the corruption and lavish lifestyle for example the deputy said, “What about it? Charlie knew how to run the country though.”
So, what’s next for Ned O’Keeffe?
“I will go farming the little bit of land I have,” the deputy stated.
Thursday 27th January 5:45pm