Some grassroot dissent over one-candidate directive
The Fine Gael Selection Convention for Roscommon/Galway constituency went as expected: HQ insisted on just one candidate being selected, Senator Maura Hopkins was the chosen one…and at least some of the grassroots were left fuming.
The event, held in Gleeson’s in Roscommon last Friday night, featured strong criticism of Fine Gael party HQ. Long-time party member Cyril McDermott put it bluntly, accused HQ of treating grassroots “like a shower of fools”, and advising that party chiefs needed “a kick up the backside”.
Galway councillor Michael Finnerty, who withdrew his name on the night, said that the party’s National Executive was treating members like “mugs”. He predicted that he will be added to the ticket later in the year.
Deputy Peter Burke, who chaired proceedings, said that the party reserved the right to add a second candidate in due course, but many members present saw this approach as a denial of democracy.
Senator Hopkins, selected unopposed on the night, said whether or not a second candidate is added is a decision for the National Executive of the party.
In a press statement issued earlier this week, Senator Hopkins said that what motivates her most is the opportunity to work hard to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
“The job of a politician is to work for people, work with people…and this has been my focus each and every day over the past five years. Whether it be working on the issue of the families of children who have been let down by HSE audiology services in the West, working to secure increased supports to assist beef and suckler farmers, working for improved home help services, working for further investment in this constituency, these and many other issues are what motivate me every single day in my job”.