ROW ERUPTS OVER FIANNA FAIL CONVENTION VENUE
The simmering spat between Deputy Ned O’Keeffe and his Fianna Fail Dail colleague, Michael Ahern gained some pre election impetus this week when the Mitchelstown TD told The Avondhu that he was, “very annoyed that Deputy Ahern had objected to the previously arranged date for the FF selection convention in Rathcormac on January 28.”
“It now seems as if the convention will be held in Midleton in February and I can’t see the reason for the change,” Deputy O’Keeffe continued.
He was, however of the opinion that it may have been due to fact that there was, “no functioning Dail Ceanntair in the East Cork area, with no AGM held for the last 10 years.”
Ned O’Keeffe also claimed that Michael Ahern had voted in favour of Taoiseach Brian Cowen in Tuesday night’s confidence motion at the meeting of the FF parliamentary party. Decrying the result, O’Keeffe said that the party needed a new ‘shop window’ in advance of the election.
“Things could get even worse for us after the events this week and I believe that the opinion polls will show that,” Deputy O’Keeffe said.
When asked about the margin in favour of Taoiseach in the confidence motion, Ned O’Keeffe responded, “I believe it was very tight, maybe as close as 37 – 34.”
He further added that his own seat was “on the margins” and said that Cork East had always been a difficult constituency.
However, when interviewed by Vincent Browne on TV3 on Tuesday night the Mitchelstown deputy said that he was confident as it was, “an O’Keeffe clan seat.”
FIGMENT OF IMAGINATION
Responding to Deputy O’Keeffe’s annoyance over the venue for the selection convention, Michael Ahern told The Avondhu, “The responsibility for organising the convention lies with FF headquarters and the Comhairle Dail Ceanntair and not with the candidates of whom I will be one.”
Commenting on the confidence motion this week, Deputy Ahern added, “The meeting on Tuesday night decided that An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen would continue as leader of the party. The vote was by way of secret ballot which allowed members to vote whichever way without undue pressure, such a process gives greater validity to the result. Any figures given regarding the vote is a figment of the imagination of the giver.”
“The result will allow the Government to concentrate on its primary responsibility, the running of the country and the party in its preparation for the upcoming election.”
“It was disappointing to see Micheal Martin departing the Government. He is an outstanding parliamentarian and was a conscientious, hardworking, respected Minister since 1997 in a number of departments. His experience will be missed at the cabinet table and in the FF leadership. I have no doubt but that he will not remain in the wilderness for very long,” Michael Ahern concluded.
Thursday 20th January 5:28pm