A NEW furore has erupted inside Donegal Fianna Fail after a decision which excludes all but Charlie McConalogue and Pat The Cope Gallagher running for the party at the general election next year.
There was some anger within the party when county party chairman Brendan Byrne organised ballots – asking members to vote on whether they wanted two candidates or three at the election.
But party headquarters had already told the party hierarchy here that it will only allow TWO names to seek seats in the five-seat constituency.
The decision effectively excludes members like James Pat McDaid from getting on the ballot paper.
A Fianna Fail spokesman confirmed the party has decided there will only be one candidate.
“So what the f*** was (Brendan) Byrne doing asking people to vote on it at party meetings over the past couple of weeks?” asked one exasperated and senior Fianna Fail member in the north west of the county.
“The decision had been taken – but no-one bothered to tell us – the members of this party.”
Due to geographical spread of the Fianna Fail membership and his popularity Pat The Cope will “walk his way onto the ballot paper” according to senior sources in the party.
Deputy McConalogue has similar support.
That now leaves Letterkenny/Finn Valley and Fanad wide open to other parties and independents, according to those who want a third candidate in Cllr James Pat McDaid.
There were reports yesterday that party leader Micheal Martin has agreed to meet disaffected party members in the Dail next week, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday.
This has led to a great deal of frustration among party members.
The Tirconnaill Tribune also ran an extensive report on the internal party wranglings.
The paper reported that one meeting in Ardara ended in a row after Byrne asked for a vote among members on who they believed should be on the ballot paper.
Now it turns out those votes weren’t required – and won’t count – as party HQ has already decided the matter.