AN OMAGH councillor has vowed to continue her fight to stand as a Fianna Fáil candidate in the local government election in May.
The pledge by Sorcha McAnespy is set to provide a difficult early test for the new arrangement between the party and SDLP and could yet see them going head to head at the polls in Omagh.
Ms McAnespy is due to meet Fianna Fail leader, Michael Martin, this week to try and resolve the impasse.
Speaking to the Tyrone Herald, the former Sinn Féin politician said she was still working towards securing a change in Fianna Fáil policy that would open the door for her to stand as a party candidate in Fermanagh and Omagh council.
“The easy thing for me would be to get an application form and join the SDLP. But that is definitely something which I will never do on a point of principle,” she said.
“All of this has left me on the horns of a dilemma. At this moment I will be standing as an independent at the council elections, and officially Fianna Fáil will not be fielding any candidates here.
“We are going to have to come up with some form of accommodation because I am a member of the National Executive of Fianna Fáil and I am receiving a lot of support from other members.
“The SDLP currently have no councillors in Omagh town and there have been no candidates announced by them for here.”
Late last year, Ms McAnespy became embroiled in controversy when it was announced that she would be Fianna Fáil’s first ever candidate in a northern election.
But the party moved quickly to dismiss the announcement and sacked the party’s director of elections and grandson of its founder, Eamon O’Cuiv, from his position as spokesperson on rural affairs for his role in the ‘rogue move’.