Former Fianna Fail TD for Kildare South, Sean Power, has claimed a “concerted effort” was made within the party to humilate him by not selecting him to run in the local elections this May.
Only two candidates were selected for the Kildare municipal district, Cllr Fiona O’Loughlin and Cllr Suzanne Doyle, at the recent convention held on March 10 last in Hotel Keadeen, with a third nomination still up for grabs.
Mr Power, who did not turn up for the convention due to personal reasons, maintains it was a deliberate ploy not to select him for the Newbridge and Kildare area.
“My name should have been selected that night,” said the politician, whose son Robert is also running for a seat in Naas. “There has been a concerted effort from people within the party in South Kildare to keep me off the ticket. I am very disappointed with their actions.”
A third nomination was left vacant at the March 10 convention after newcomer Simon Rainsford withdrew his candidacy due to claims of a “lack of appetite to revitalise the party from within”.
An initial attempt to select the candidates for the new Kildare district was deemed unsuccessful last December, when the party failed to agree on whether three or four candidates should go forward. The four candidates nominated at the time were Mr Power, Cllr Fiona O’Louglin, Cllr Suzanne Doyle and Mr Rainsford.
“There was an attempt made in December to humiliate me,” Mr Power added. “It is all about running three candidates but not Sean Power. The whole effort was to ensure that Sean Power was not on the ticket. My name was put forward then and there is no reason why my name wasn’t selected on the night [March 10].”
Mr Power also refuted rumours circulating that he was in Cheltenham on the night of the most recent convention.
“To say I was in Cheltenham on that night was incorrect. I spoke to the Chairman and explained that I would not be a position to attend.” The former TD, who lost his Dail seat in 2011, said he expects Fianna Fail headquarters to add his name to the ticket.
A spokesperson for Fianna Fail said that the issue is “still under consideration”.
Cllr Fiona O’Loughlin said that she will work with whoever is the third nominee.