Belfast Telegraph

Beaten candidates back new leader

The three failed Fianna Fail leadership candidates have rallied around Micheal Martin claiming he would be an energetic and capable leader.

Tourism and Enterprise Minister Mary Hanafin, who was eliminated with 10 votes after the first count, suggested the former foreign affairs minister would be a better communicator than Brian Cowen.

"I think he'll be a very energetic and committed leader. He's a person of very strong values," Ms Hanafin said.

"I think Micheal will use (communication) opportunities better and I think he will appreciate the importance now of actually getting a message across to a wider audience."

Ms Hanafin said she was "really happy" with the result, and that she had contested the leadership, adding Mr Martin was the frontrunner from the outset.

She denied her decision not to declare her hand publicly during the confidence motion in Mr Cowen affected her result.

Social Protection and Defence Minister Eamon O Cuiv, who came second in the secret ballot with 22 votes, said Mr Cowen and Mr Martin were two very different people.

"Every leader has their own style," Mr O Cuiv said.

"Micheal is a very outgoing person, I think he will be a very, very good performer in the media."

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