Latest bullying row to hit the party
Sinn Fein’s youngest female councillor has become the latest party representative to resign, citing claims of bullying and intimidation.
In an extraordinary statement on Tuesday, 23-year-old Limerick councillor Lisa Marie Sheehy said she was "plotted against" and “pushed out of the party” by members who "tried to break her down".
"I’m interested in getting things done in my area for the people who elected me and not engaging in bullyboy politics,” the Glenroe-based representative said.
Ms Sheehy confirmed to Independent.ie that she will now serve as an independent councillor.
She said she made a complaint to party organisers recently in relation to her alleged mistreatment and “in regards to incidents that occurred at official meetings”.
She says an investigation was launched, which she likened to a “joke”.
It’s understood the Sinn Fein-led investigation found “no evidence” of wrongdoing.
Ms Sheehy consulted with other councillors who have made similar allegations and decided to step down.
"I cannot stand behind a party that does not take its memberships’ valid concerns seriously. If we look back at the people who have left the party or decided not to run for re-election due to bullying within the party it's disheartening and disgraceful and Sinn Fein has not learned its lesson,” she said.
"I have no respect for the party anymore as I have been undermined, bullied and humiliated. Since I have been elected I have tried to fulfil my duty as a public representative to the best of my ability and during that time I have been consistently and frequently belittled by party members and after seeing a number of other members wronged by the party and nothing of substance being done about it I could not stay any longer".
"I love my role in the community and I am very proud of my work thus far and I look forward to make a clean break from a hostile and toxic environment, I value my work and I have parked my feelings to the side for too long".
A request for comment has been submitted to the Sinn Fein press office.