Hanafin: 'I never went away you know'; Martin says urban gains good for FF

Mary Hanafin looks set to take a seat for Fianna Fáil in the Dun Laoghaire - Blackrock ward in Dublin.

Her return to politics was last-minute and not without controversy, including as it did a row with party leader Micheál Martin.

Ms Hanafin said she was not concerned that her comeback was local rather than national.

"I never went away, you know," she laughed. "From the outset of this, it didn't matter to me whether I was a teacher in Blackrock, a TD, a Minister or a (local) councillor. It's still the same Mary Hanafin who's happy to work for the people of the area."

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin said he was happy with the gains the party was making, particularly in urban areas.

"We've got a footprint back in the urban centres, where we had none (such as) in Limerick, Waterford (where we had one seat on each council) and Galway (where we had three out of 15 seats).

"We had to try to get more people into the cities and we're achieving that."

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