Fianna Fail are looking at a dramatic swoop for soccer legend Packie Bonner after the FAI refused to renew the contract of the former Celtic and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper.
Bonner was told by the FAI that they would not be renewing his €225,000 a year contract as goalkeeping coach and technical director.
The move was part of an overall cost-cutting exercise at FAI headquarters in Merrion Square which has seen a number of job cuts.
The big Keadue man, 50, was offered an ambassador’s role after his 30 years of loyal service but is believed to have turned it down.
However donegaldaily.com understands that the FAI’s loss may be Fianna Fail’s gain.
Packie has already admitted in the recently published book ‘Donegal Sporting Legends’ that he was previously approached by the party to run for Europe – an offer he turned down.
But now party sources have indicated that Packie could be approached again with a view to running in the upcoming general election to stand against newly-elected TD Pearse Doherty of Sinn Fein.
A party source revealed “It’s early days but Packie has discussed standing before and although he ruled it out at the time, he did say he would be open to take another look at running.
“We feel he would be a very attractive candidate as he is one of the most upstanding guys around. He already has a massive profile and we feel he would attract a lot of voters.
“The by-election set alarm bells ringing within the party and we need a candidate who will counteract that now during the next election,” said the source.