Sinn Fein has stood down the party’s organisation in the Dublin South West constituency after controversial mixed martial arts fighter Paddy Holohan was nominated to be mayor of South Dublin County Council.
Sinn Fein members were told the party’s Ard Comhairle met over the weekend and decided to “suspend all party structures and party activity” in the constituency pending a review of Mr Holohan’s nomination.
In a letter to members, Sinn Fein’s 26 county director Ken O’Connell said the move followed “recent political actions taken by some members in the constituency which the Ard Chomhairle views with deep concern”.
“Suspension of all activity means that there will be no meetings or political activity of any section of the party in the area until further notice,” Mr O’Connell said.
“Elected Representatives should continue to represent their constituents fully and continue to work from their offices under covid rules,” he added.
The Sinn Fein leadership will meet on July 11 to assess the situation and draft terms of reference for a full review of the constituency, which is home to long serving TD Sean Crowe.
In January, during the Irish General Election campaign, Mr Holohan, who is a Sinn Fein councillor, was suspended after it emerged he made a string of offensive comments on a podcast.
He suggested “loads” of underage girls were having sex with men and blackmailing them for sums of money up to €10,000. He said some women were “f*****g scum”.
He was also accused of racism and homophobia after he said Leo Varadkar’s “blood ran to India” and insisted the person who is elected Taoiseach should be a family man.
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said his comments were “vile” and “offensive”.
However, last month, it emerged he was reinstated by the party and his name had been put forward for lord mayor role on South Dublin County Council.
He lost the vote and Sinn Fein said they were not aware Mr Holohan had been nominated.
Recently elected Deputy Mayor of South Dublin County Council Councillor David McManus said Sinn Fein's decision "raises more questions".
"How can he be re-admitted as an official councillor representing the party but then can't be nominated for mayor," the Fine Gael councillor said.
"The Sinn Fein leadership are responsible for this and now they are trying to throw their local councillors under the bus. I would call for Mary Lou McDonald to make a full statement on this matter, it's time for answers, not reviews," he added.