Ireland: Verona Murphy ‘does not represent the values of Fine Gael’ - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland Verona Murphy ‘does not represent the values of Fine Gael’

11:45  03 december  2019
11:45  03 december  2019 Source:   extra.ie

Government ministers back controversial Fine Gael candidate Verona Murphy on campaign trail in Wexford town

  Government ministers back controversial Fine Gael candidate Verona Murphy on campaign trail in Wexford town FINE Gael ministers have today been out on the by-election campaign trail with the party's controversial candidate, Verona Murphy. The party's by-election campaign has been overshadowed by comments she made linking immigrants to terror group Isil as well as bullying allegations levelled against her. The party's by-election campaign has been overshadowed by comments she made linking immigrants to terror group Isil as well as bullying allegations levelled against her.

Fine Gael ’s leadership didn’t know its besieged candidate Verona Murphy was also at the centre of bullying allegations made by a female worker. The party is embroiled in controversy over its by-election candidate linking migrants with terror group Isil. Despite concerns within the party about Ms Murphy ’s

Fine Gael has rejected claims that it did not know about allegations of bullying involving its Wexford by-election candidate Verona Murphy . Earlier this year, the Workplace Relations Commission found that an office manager at the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA)

a couple of people posing for the camera © Provided by Extra.ie

Verona Murphy’s candidacy for Fine Gael in the next general election is set to come under a major review, with several sources telling Extra.ie they think she should be axed from the ticket.

A decision on the businesswoman’s future is likely to be reached by Christmas, as one source said the review of all four by-election constituencies ‘will be quick’.

Ms Murphy twice apologised for her comments linking asylum seekers to Isis and calling for them to be ‘deprogrammed’.

a man and a woman taking a selfie: A senior source has said they don’t believe Verona Murphy represents Fine Gael’s values Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie © Provided by Extra.ie A senior source has said they don’t believe Verona Murphy represents Fine Gael’s values Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

She later described it as ‘a poor choice of words’.

Varadkar goes undercover on secret trip to help election hopeful Murphy

  Varadkar goes undercover on secret trip to help election hopeful Murphy Never before has an occasion involving a Taoiseach and one of his own by-election candidates days out from the polling day been shrouded in such secrecy. It was almost as if Leo Varadkar didn't want people outside Wexford to know he was heartily endorsing Verona Murphy on the town's Main Street.

Fine Gael Wexford byelection candidate Verona Murphy (centre) with Seamus Kiely from Southknock, New Ross, and Cllr Bridin Murphy . Photograph: Patrick Browne. The Fine Gael national executive council is under pressure from the parliamentary party to address controversy around the party’s

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Verona Murphy at Fine Gael selection convention. While a number of TDs believe she should not represent the party in the by-election, others have been Journal Media does not control and is not responsible for user created content, posts, comments

But a senior party source told Extra.ie last night: ‘I believe she should be taken off the ticket and I don’t believe she represents the values of the Fine Gael party.’

Some senior party figures, such as Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, publicly supported her in recent days; however, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed a review would be carried out ‘in all four [by-election] constituencies… as we always do’.

Ms Murphy attracted a respectable 23.8% of the first-preference votes cast in Friday’s by-election in Wexford and came in third.

She was added to the general election ticket in April, to run alongside two junior ministers, Paul Kehoe and Michael D’Arcy.

But several party figures last night said she should be dropped.

a woman holding a sign posing for the camera: Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

One Cabinet minister told Extra.ie over the weekend the ‘concern now is that there will be contagion and her image will damage the electoral prospects of TDs and candidates across other constituencies’.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to face motion of no confidence

  Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to face motion of no confidence Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to face motion of no confidenceThe motion comes as homelessness figures remained above 10,000 in September.

Speaking this evening Fine Gael Bye-Election candidate Verona Murphy said “We are a welcoming country and I am proud of that fact. I believe we must do everything to prevent division Statement by the Minister for Justice and Equality and Fine Gael Director of Elections for the Wexford Bye-Election

A Fine Gael by-election candidate has said some asylum seekers coming to Ireland have to be "deprogrammed" as they "carry angst" and may have been

‘This can’t be tolerated. People will have read into comments by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance [Paschal Donohoe] on Saturday that she is in trouble.

‘Frankly if the nominations hadn’t been closed by the time the controversy had taken off, she might have not even stood in the Wexford by-election,’ they added.

One TD told Extra.ie yesterday: ‘I think we should have just two candidates in Wexford for the general election. I think Verona should not stand for Fine Gael… I think we can’t have people who articulate those views standing for Fine Gael, full stop.’

a man and a woman standing in front of a store: Verona Murphy the Fine Gael candidate, with Director of Elections, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan after arriveing in the Wexford Count centre at St Joseph’s Club Community Centre, Bishopswater, Wexford. Pic Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie © Provided by Extra.ie Verona Murphy the Fine Gael candidate, with Director of Elections, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan after arriveing in the Wexford Count centre at St Joseph’s Club Community Centre, Bishopswater, Wexford. Pic Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Referring to a video uploaded to her campaign Facebook page claiming she was a victim of ‘character assassination’, this source said it ‘seemed to be a bid to ‘justify the comments and bizarrely to blame the media for how the comments were portrayed, which just isn’t true’.

Voters' views on migrants and race tested as ministers braced for results

  Voters' views on migrants and race tested as ministers braced for results The Government is bracing itself for the first electoral test on the country's views on immigration and race after a divisive campaign. The by-election race played out against a backdrop of weeks of debate on asylum seekers, direct provision centres and Travellers.

© www.doug.ie Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and candidate Verona Murphy canvas in Wexford Credit Union. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Fine Gael election candidate Verona Murphy canvassing in New Ross, Co Wexford. Former Fine Gael councillor Willie Fitzharris, who campaigned with Murphy last weekend, does not think her comments will damage her attempt to win the seat vacated by Mick Wallace’s election as an MEP.

Another parliamentary party member said: ‘Her comments were grossly inappropriate and, crucially, incorrect. They ran contrary to Fine Gael’s core ethos. A quick apology isn’t enough. It’s understandable why she couldn’t be dropped mid-campaign, but now there’s a window to deal with it properly.’

On Saturday, Ms Murphy doubled down on her intention to remain in the race for Fine Gael in the general election in Wexford.

But that evening, Minister Paschal Donohoe – the party’s national director of elections – said ‘all candidates are subject to review by Fine Gael and her status is no different to any others’.

What results mean for main political parties

FINE GAEL

Dáil seats now: 48 (no change)

There is no doubt about it, Friday’s election was a bad day for Fine Gael.

While a low turnout no doubt affected all parties’ votes, Fine Gael still didn’t win a single seat. And the failure to hold on to the seat vacated by Frances Fitzgerald surely stung internally. Publicly, they were preparing for the worst. Earlier this month, just hours after the writ was moved to hold the by-election, the Taoiseach appeared in Clondalkin alongside the party’s hopeful there, Councillor Emer Higgins. He said he was ‘conscious that it is hard for governments to win by-elections’. Tánaiste Simon Coveney was sent out to push this line again yesterday and said: ‘Governments don’t win by-elections, that’s a basic rule in politics.’ Trying to put a good spin on it over the weekend, Leo Varadkar said the party had taken second place in three out of the four contests.

'Not an official Fine Gael video': Ministers grilled on Verona Murphy's last-ditch Rocky themed clip

  'Not an official Fine Gael video': Ministers grilled on Verona Murphy's last-ditch Rocky themed clip The video says was “produced by supporters of the Verona Murphy campaign” and was shared by the candidate.The video features shots of newspaper headlines about Murphy and is set to the Survivor song Eye of the Tiger, made famous as the theme tune to Rocky.

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It follows an apology this morning for comments she made on RTÉ yesterday.

While the Verona Murphy controversy dominated the headlines and the campaign, she still polled a respectable 23.8% first preferences in Wexford.

The four by-elections leave Fine Gael facing both a wobble in its momentum and questions over how it will handle the fallout from the controversy in Wexford.

FIANNA FAIL

Dáil seats now: 45 (two new TDs elected)

With just months to go before the next general election, getting two TDs elected in the weekend’s by-elections is a positive litmus test for Fianna Fáil. The party held the seat in Cork North Central after Billy Kelleher left for Brussels as an MEP, with Cllr Páidí O’Sullivan retaining the vote there.

Fianna Fáil also managed to make ground in Wexford over the weekend, as Cllr Malcolm Byrne was elected to the Dáil, gaining a second seat in that monster constituency alongside James Browne.

This gain puts Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in a reasonably comfortable position as he continues preparations for the general election. It appears the momentum from May’s local elections – when Fianna Fáil increased its number of councillors – has continued.

SINN FÉIN

Dáil seats now: 22 (1 new TD elected)

Mark Ward’s election in Tallaght was a much-needed win for Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The party president has endured a difficult time since succeeding Gerry Adams in the role in early 2018, mainly in the loss of Peadar Tóibín and Carol Nolan from her benches and a disastrous presidential election campaign. And at the local and European elections in May, Sinn Féin lost 78 council seats and two of its three MEPs.

Justice Minister says Verona Murphy wasn't used to 'rough and tumble' of election campaign

  Justice Minister says Verona Murphy wasn't used to 'rough and tumble' of election campaign JUSTICE Minister Charlie Flanagan has said embattled Fine Gael candidate Verona Murphy was not accustomed to the “rough and tumble” of an election campaign. Mr Flanagan mounted a robust defence of Ms Murphy, who looks set to miss out on a Dáil seat in the Wexford by-election, while insisting she was not subject to the character assassination that her supporters had claimed in recent days following a contentious campaign. Mr Flanagan mounted a robust defence of Ms Murphy, who looks set to miss out on a Dáil seat in the Wexford by-election, while insisting she was not subject to the character assassination that her supporters had claimed in recent days following a contentious campaign.

Senator James Reilly, Fine Gael ’s former deputy leader and an unsuccessful candidate in Dublin Fingal, said Verona Murphy ’s comments about Murphy , the head of the Irish Road Haulage Association, was named last April alongside serving TDs Paul Kehoe and Michael D’Arcy on the Fine

Fine Gael ’s Wexford byelection candidate Verona Murphy is pictured after being eliminated, at St Joseph’s Community Centre. But back in Dublin, Leo and Paschal were also doing interviews. While not yet throwing her under the proverbial bus, they appeared to be gently stretching their arms forward

While new TD Mark Ward was tipped to do well in Dublin Mid-West, many were taken aback by his performance in securing 24% of the first-preference votes. The victory will boost the party but it is unlikely to shake things up dramatically.

LABOUR

Dáil seats now: 7 (no change)

Labour failed to win any seats in the 2019 by-elections, but it made strong waves in all four areas.

Both George Lawlor and John Maher polled an impressive 20% of the first-preference votes in Wexford and Cork North-Central respectively, while Duncan Smith took 15.2% of first preferences in Fingal.

All of these results place the three councillors on a strong footing for the general election. But with Lawlor in the same constituency as party leader Brendan Howlin, it’s hard, but not impossible, to see them taking a second seat there.

GREENS

Dáil seats now: 3 (1 new TD elected)

The Green Wave continued over the weekend, with Eamon Ryan’s party increasing its presence in the Dáil after claiming a third seat. Joe O’Brien will join Mr Ryan and Catherine Martin on the Opposition benches.

There is some speculation the Green Party is eyeing six Dáil seats for the next election, and with Joe O’Brien’s win at the weekend – after the Greens’ success in the European and local elections in May – the party appears to be well on track to achieving that aim.

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