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There is a pull request that will help resolve this issue. This functionality will make it into Gazebo 5.0, at which point you'll be able to subsribe to the ~/selection topic to get model selection information.

In the mean time you can write a GUI plugin that publishes the information to your model plugin. A key piece of information is that the GUI operates in a different process than the server. You model plugin runs on the server, and therefore does not have direct access to the GUI. The solution is to use a pub/sub mechanism.