Fine Gael ‘takes delegates for mugs’ at Roscommon convention

A Ballinasloe councillor accused Fine Gael of ‘taking delegates for mugs’ at the party’s selection convention for the Roscommon-Galway constituency last night.

Cllr Michael Finnerty and Ballaghaderreen senator Maura Hopkins were both nominated to contest the event in Gleeson’s Restaurant and Rooms in Roscommon town.

But Cllr Finnerty pulled out after party headquarters instructed that only one candidate be selected, allowing his opponent to be chosen on the night.

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Yet this strategy was strongly criticised, with many backing a two-candidate strategy.

Cllr Finnerty claimed the party was taking delegates for ‘mugs’, while Cyril McDermott, from Elphin, described the directive as ‘stupid’ and another said it was a ‘proper disgrace’.

Senator Hopkins says the party needs to listen to the concerns raised.

But Cllr Finnerty is confident he’ll be added to the party’s ticket in six weeks’ time, provided he retains his council seat in the local elections on May 24.

Cyril McDermott, from Elphin, wasn't happy with the strategy chosen
Maura addressed the closure of the Rosalie unit in Castlerea during her speech