Democracy Mauled in Kerry by Fianna Fáil’s Gender Quota Policy ?

Cllr. Michael Cahill – disappointed at being passed over in spite of his poll topping performance at the selection convention. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Another of the Kerry Fianna Fáil general election hopefuls has expressed his disappointment at being passed over for inclusion on the ticket to accompany sitting TD John Brassil into the next Dáil election.

Cllr. Michael Cahill questions the point of holding a convention – which he topped – if party headquarter then imposes a candidate because of the gender quota policy and the extra funding it brings.

Cllr. Cahill circulated a letter to media outlets at the weekend and it is as follows:

“At the very outset, I wish to congratulate Councillor Norma Moriarty on being added to the Fianna Fail Ticket in Kerry for the next General Election and to wish her every success in her campaign to be elected to Dail Eireann.

No Surprise Just Disappointment

For my part I wish to state that I am not at all surprised but obviously very disappointed not to have been added to the Party ticket.

Not surprised in that I was up against the gender balance whereby political parties have to run 30% female candidates to qualify for the maximum state funding.

Tops in South Kerry

Disappointed in that I was one of five candidates that contested the party convention last January, coming out on top in South Kerry, the very same convention that both Councillor Michael O’Shea and Councillor Norma Moriarty were eliminated in.

I have given my entire adult life to public service, almost 28 years. I am known for my tireless work and I am a proven vote getter.

More Votes in 2014

I received more votes in the 2014 local elections than any of the Fianna Fail candidates in that election in Kerry, North and South, including Deputy John Brassil.

This, along with my vast experience and political base in Mid Kerry would have put me in an ideal position to win a seat for the party.

You should always play your strongest team.

The Point of  the Convention?

One has to ask the question: what is the point of holding a Convention in the first instance if the wishes of the delegates, in our case in South Kerry, are not being implemented by party headquarters?

One would also have to ask the question: why should Fianna Fail Headquarters change this when you had a situation whereby a significant number of public representatives from South Kerry supported a North Kerry candidate, at that same convention.

Surely in order to win a seat in South Kerry they should have shown leadership and supported one of the South Kerry candidates.

Honest and Truthful

I wish the Fianna Fail team every success in the next general election and I want to reassure the Kerry public that I will continue to give a thousand per cent in my capacity as a public representative.

To be honest and truthful in my work and make decisions including difficult ones in the best interest of the people of Kerry and for the greater good of our county.

Finally, I wish to thank my friends and supporters for their loyalty and continued support.”

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