Fianna Fáil investigating complaints about election of party chairman in Kerry

Fianna Fáil is investigating complaints made about the election of a Kerry County Councillor as its party chairman in the county.

Niall Kelleher, Fianna Fáil National Executive

Cllr Niall Kelleher was elected chairperson at Fianna Fáil’s Comhairle Dáil Ceantair on October 24th.

A spokesperson for Fianna Fáil says the party’s National Rules and Procedures Committee is investigating a small number of complaints about Cllr Niall Kelleher’s election.

The complainants say his election is in breach of the party constitution, which they say, does not allow an elected representative to hold an officer position.

Cllr Kelleher says he was overwhelmingly elected by members on the night, without any objections.

He doesn’t believe his election is in breach of the party’s Córú and says a councillor in Waterford is the chair of Fianna Fáil in that county.

Thomas Roche of the Brosna Cumann was one of those who made a complaint to party headquarters.

Mr Roche, who failed to get elected to another officer position, is a prominent supporter of Cllr Thomas McEllistrim who didn’t stand for election.

Supporters of Cllr Kelleher say the complaints have come from the McEllistrim faction of the party who were disappointed by their failure to get elected on the night.

Mr Roche says his complaint is not motivated by sour grapes and his concerns are legitimate.

He alleges 50 registered members of the party from North Kerry were not able to vote on October 24th as they were not on the voters’ list; Fianna Fáil says the party’s rules on voting rights and membership entitlements were followed.

He says the makeup of the officer board means that North Kerry is underrepresented.