Second Sinn Féin councillor in Tipperary resigns

David Doran says it is unbelievable men were precluded from standing for the convention

A file image of Cllr David Doran (right) and former  Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Image via Twitter

A file image of Cllr David Doran (right) and former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. Image via Twitter

 

A Sinn Féin councillor in Tipperary has resigned after men were excluded from running in the party’s general election selection convention last year.

Cllr David Doran said in a statement he had felt ostracised within his own party in recent years on a number of issues, including rural crime.

Over a period of two years until the summer of 2018, Sinn Féin saw a total of 37 representatives vacate their seats or resign from the party.

Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín resigned from the party at the end of 2018 over its support for repealing the Eighth Amendment on abortion. Mr Tóibín is in the process of setting up a new party.

Sinn Féin won a seat in each of the five electoral areas on Tipperary County Council at the 2014 local elections but has now lost two of those five councillors in the meantime, following the resignation of Nenagh-based Seamus Morris and now Mr Doran.

Mr Doran said the justice system should be tougher with “ vicious thugs and criminals, for example by denying them free legal aid, tagging them, giving them longer sentences in cold basic cells, without flatscreen TVs”.

This stance was at odds with that of Sinn Féin, he said, “which had a more rehabilitative outlook when dealing with such criminals”.

Mr Doran said the final straw was the party’s selection convention last year when Ciara McCormack, who is not a member of any council, was chosen.

“To borrow a phrase from a former taoiseach, it was grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented and, above all, an affront to democracy and highly insulting to women. Sure no-one could explain how men could be precluded from standing for convention just because they were men.”

The Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane said the party carried out a “gender intervention” at its selection convention in Tipperary and excluded men to meet its gender quota targets.

Mr Doran, who told TippFM on Friday he had became “politicised” when in college in Letterkenny in the early 1990s and joined the Republican movement over 25 years ago, said he met the chair of the Munster Sinn Féin organisation in recent weeks “to try and resolve the matter internally” to no avail.

Mr Doran also said he had a missed call and a text message from Mr Tóibín on Thursday night and while he wasn’t ruling out joining the Independent TD’s new movement, he intends running as an Independent in the local elections.

Sinn Féin’s other former councillor in Co Tipperary, Seamus Morris, said earlier this week he also plans to run as an Independent in May but could open discussions after that with Mr Tóibín, who is due to hold a meeting in Nenagh next month with a view to attracting support.