TD Peadar Toibin quits Sinn Fein over abortion row - 'I will now help build a new 32-county movement'
Meath TD Peadar Toibin has resigned from Sinn Fein after 21 years as a member, claiming he has been “censored” by party chiefs.
The deputy handed in a resignation letter on Thursday “with a heavy heart”.
He had been suspended from party activity for six months after going against the party’s decision to back legislation allowing for abortion.
In a letter to the party, Mr Toibin said he had secured a deal with the leadership in November 2012 which stated the party “would treat me equally and would not marginalise me due to my views on the right to life as long as I also gave the party view”.
“This deal worked well for four years at no cost to the party”.
However, he said over the past 18 months the arrangement was “binned unilaterally by the party”.
“I have lost speaking rights, spokespersons positions, portfolios and have been significantly censored in my engagement with the media.
“These actions have prevented me from fully representing my constituents.”
Mr Toibin went on to say that he raised the issues with the management and leadership of Mary Lou McDonald’s party “but with no success”.
“I have strived in every way I know how simply to make space within the party for people with a different on this one issue.
“For a United Ireland to be achieved, the party must be flexible, broad and inclusive,” he said.
Finally he wrote to Ms McDonald and others in the party hierarchy two weeks ago, seeking to know if he had a future in the party.
“This email was never replied to. That may be an answer in itself,” his resignation letter concludes.