Former Labour Party chair applies to defect to Fianna Fail…

Interesting developments in the south. East Galway TD Colm Keaveney, the former chair of the Labour Party, has applied to join Fianna Fail (whose parliamentary are currently invovled in rapidly prepared meeting to discuss his application).

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn has expressed disappointment at news. Mr Quinn said the move was a personal decision for the Galway East TD, but he said he was sad that Mr Keaveney had left the Labour Party, and sad that he had now decided to take this route.

However, the Minister added that it was “a free country”, and described the move as a sign of Mr Keaveney’s desperation. Mr Quinn said there had been “a way back” for the Galway East TD, but said he chose not to take it.

It’s fair to say that Mr Keaveney would have had serious problems holding his seat as a Labour candidate in Galway East, where he squeezed on transfers ahead of a third Fine Gael candidate to become the first Labour party TD there since the constituency was first set up in 1937.

And much as Labour may be glad to be rid of the most stubborn and uncooperative chair since the party began, it may just take a shine off what had been a good party conference for them. We’ll let you have the verdict when it becomes available. The new FF TD will be introduced to the press by Micheal Martin at 1.30pm.

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  • John Ó Néill

    Mick, did you catch the exchange of tweets from earlier in the year that is doing the rounds?

    Colm Keaveney T.D. ‏@Colm_Keaveney 18 Jan
    A surreal moment in my political career: being defended & praised by the leader of Fianna Fáil: To laugh or to cry?

    John Fitzpatrick ‏@JFTAXI 18 Jan
    Meself I’d say its me enemies enemy is me friend, or he see’s you as a possible defector to FF. You Need to watch out. @Colm_Keaveney

    Colm Keaveney T.D. ‏@Colm_Keaveney 18 Jan
    @JFTAXI The only way that I’ll ever make that journey would be on Charon’s ferry!

    Think Labour members are going to slaughter him every time he stands in the Dáil (word is that Keaveney will be shunted into standing as an MEP for FF). As it is Galway East goes to a 3 seater next time out and Keaveney would have a lot of work to do to mobilise either the FF dynasties behind him or shake off the abuse he will get for moving to FF from his previous supporters.

  • Charles_Gould

    Its certainly a boost for FF as they build up.

    Sad for Labour though.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    As me oul buddy Groucho used to say I have principles. If you don’t like them I have others.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good find John!! Labour will be relieved he’ s gone, as will Martin if he can be shuffled into Europe next year. Kitts standing his ground for now.

  • roadnottaken

    Keaveney saw a political/career saving opportunity in the European elections. Can’t see Pat ‘the Cope’ being too pleased about a possible running mate, and if any others declare their intentions it may be difficult for MM to contain the one-member-one-vote system. Queue fireworks.

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    If anyone needed proof that principles don’t apply to politicians QED

  • Gringo

    Keaveney is an opportunist!

  • SDLP supporter

    He will be destroyed by FF in Galway East. Could move on to Sinn Fein before the next election. The sort of person who gets politics a bad name.