* Connaughton to leave * Lenihan bid derided
Cllr. Ivan Connaughton is set to quit Fianna Fail and run as an Independent in the forthcoming General Election.
Fianna Fáil are in now turmoil in Co. Roscommon ahead of next month’s General Election Selection Convention for Roscommon-Galway, with increasing anger at grassroots level over HQ’s handling of the process of selecting a candidate or candidates.
Cllr. Ivan Connaughton, the party’s candidate in the 2011 General Election and in last October’s by-election, is on the brink of quitting the party.
In an interview with the Roscommon People, he said that he had become “disillusioned” with a party that was “not fit for purpose”. He will decide in the next six weeks whether or not to become an Independent, he added.
Meanwhile, according to a well-placed Fianna Fail source, former government minister Conor Lenihan has been told that he is not welcome in this constituency by senior members of the party in Roscommon.
His hopes already look doomed after an initial negative response locally. Mr Lenihan said earlier this week that he was considering contesting the convention, which is likely to take place towards the end of September.
While he is high profile and would be considered a particularly able candidate, there is some evidence of grassroots resentment at the notion of him being ‘parachuted’ in. Cllrs. Paschal Fitzmaurice and Eugene Murphy remain declared Convention candidates. Cllr. Rachel Doherty may enter the race.