Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein suffers fresh setback as second politician in Galway resigns

By Staff Reporter

Sinn Fein has insisted it will not carry out a review of the party after the resignation of yet another councillor in the Republic.

Galway councillor Gabe Cronnelly announced he was resigning from the party yesterday, just hours before it held a selection convention for the Galway West constituency.

In a statement he said he was resigning “due to ongoing unrest around the way the party is dealing with unethical behaviour”.

His resignation comes just days after that of fellow Galway politician and high-profile Sinn Fein Senator Trevor O’Clochartaigh, who left due to “inaction on disciplinary issues”.

However, despite this loss of two politicians in quick succession, Sinn Fein’s hierarchy insisted there were no issues to be addressed within the party.

Former vice-president of the party Pat Doherty said the resignations had caused “a difficult week in the constituency”.

“It was difficult and surprising. But this convention was open. Trevor knew about the date and the process and decided not to stand,” he said.

Asked about the discipline problems and unacceptable behaviour within the party raised by Mr O’Clochartaigh and Mr Cronnelly, Mr Doherty said a review had been carried out.

“I think the party tries to deal with these issues as they arise.

“The issues here were dealt with by a review and everybody accepted it and I was there when it was said that they accepted the outcome of the review,” he said.

He insisted there would be no further review of the issues, saying the party was “moving on now”.

Councillr Mairead Farrell, who was chosen to stand in the Galway West constituency, echoed his comments.

She was the only nominee before the convention.

Announcing his resignation, Mr Cronnelly, an Athenry councillor, raised concerns about “a small group of individuals who are putting themselves first” in the party.

He said the move was not linked to the selection convention, adding the Sinn Fein leadership had known about the problems for a long time.

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