Deputy Dara Calleary and Councillor Lisa Chambers

Walkout overshadows mayo fianna fil convention

THE Fianna Fáil party in Mayo has selected outgoing Deputy Dara Calleary and Castlebar Councillor Lisa Chambers to contest the next general election in the four-seat constituency.

Deputy Calleary, who was first elected a TD in 2007, defeated Knock-based Leonard Ryan by 179 votes to 84 for the candidacy in the east-Mayo/Ballina district while Councillor Chambers, who stood in the 2011 election, was unopposed in the Castlebar/West Mayo area following the withdrawal of Westport-based Councillor Brendan Mulroy.

Mr. Ryan led a walk-out by delegates from the Claremorris district in protest at party HQ's rejection of a decision taken by the Mayo Dáil Ceanntair by 129 votes to 104 a number of months ago to adopt a three-candidate strategy.

Deputy Barry Cowan, who chaired the convention, said the two-candidate directive was the correct one because Fianna Fáil is no longer in a position of dominance.

'We have to maximise our vote. If we do that effectively, we will be a successful party again and the time may come again when we can run three candidate in Mayo.'

The convention, at the Welcome Inn Hotel in Castlebar, was attended by over 500 delegates.