Leyden: One-candidate strategy in Roscommon ‘very high risk’

Senator Terry Leyden claims it would be a ‘very high-risk’ strategy if Fianna Fáil opted to stand only one candidate in the next general election in Roscommon-Galway.

The veteran politician was speaking after Deputy Eugene Murphy was ratified as a candidate on Friday night.

There may have been no contest at the selection convention, but that didn’t prevent up to 200 people from attending the event in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town.

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In advance, Fianna Fáil headquarters issued a directive that only one candidate is selected and, after the three other candidates who initially accepted nominations withdrew, sitting Deputy Murphy was unopposed.

He was duly ratified after delivering a lengthy speech that prompted thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

He expressed his delight afterwards.

The three candidates who withdrew – south Roscommon councillor John Keogh, Ballinasloe councillor Michael Connolly and Ballintubber’s Seán Óg Higgins – all spoke at length.

Both Keogh and Connolly reiterated their calls for Fianna Fáil HQ to add them to the ticket, both insisting they’re best placed as a running mate for Deputy Murphy.

Roscommon-based senator Terry Leyden insists it’s essential one of them is chosen.