Review into Ellie Kisyombe’s candidacy completed, says Social Democrats

Allegations of inconsistencies in background history surfaced in February

A review into the candidacy of local election candidate Ellie Kisyombe has been completed, the co-leaders of the Social Democrats have said.

Allegations of inconsistencies in the background history of Ms Kisyombe surfaced in February. An article in the Sunday Times alleged Ms Kisyombe had arrived in Ireland in April 2011 and secured a student visa, before travelling to the UK and claiming asylum there. Ms Kisyombe has claimed that she sought asylum immediately after arriving at Dublin Airport.

Ms Kisyombe is originally from Malawi and has spoken of her experience of living in the direct provision system for much of the last decade.

After the article was published, three members of the Social Democrats national executive resigned, including its chair and deputy chair, Joe O’Connor and Carly Bailey. A third member, Chris Bond, also resigned.


After inconsistencies in her story emerged, the party said it would commission a short review into her candidacy.

This is now completed and the report will be given to the executive branch of the party in the coming days.


“We are undertaking a review on that. We appointed an independent person to carry out the review. I understand the review is now completed,” said co-leader Róisín Shortall.

“I haven’t seen the report yet. It will be coming to the executive of the party next week.”

When asked if Ms Kisyombe will be running in the elections, Ms Shortall said: “We will make a decision at that point when we have the report.”

Co-leader Catherine Murphy said the party “will know well in advance of the local elections.”

The party is holding a pre-election rally in Dublin this afternoon.

In an interview with The Irish Times, Ms Kisyombe said direct provision “is a system that controls you in every sense of human life.

“Your life is being run basically with a remote control. You’re being told what to do. You wake up in the bed you’ve been given. You don’t own the space you’re in. Your life is managed by the centre administration.”

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times