Sinn Féin cumann members quit party over Cork expulsion

Fermoy group says action ‘an affront to socialist and republican ideals’ party stands for

 

The members of a Sinn Féin cumann in Fermoy, Co Cork have resigned from the party after one of its local councillors was expelled from the party.

Up to 15 members met on Tuesday night and put forward their resignations.

In a statement, the cumann said the decision was with “deep regret” but was in wake of the sanctioning of two councillors by the party.

“We hold Cllr Melissa Mullane and Cllr Kieran McCarthy in high regard on both a personal and professional level,” the members said.

“We can therefore not stand idly by while what we view as a seriously unjust and undemocratic act is carried out in our name.”

The resignations follow a decision to expel Mr McCarthy and suspend Ms Mullane after a review into the party’s Cork East structures.

The statement added: “We consider the action an affront to the democratic, socialist and republican ideals that the party stands for and would strongly urge the Sinn Fein leadership to revisit their decision and not stand in the way of the democratic process within the party.”

Mr McCarthy earlier this week said there had been allegations of loans being misappropriated but he insisted these had not been proved. He accused senior party figures of operating a Spanish Inquisition-style system.

Ms Mullane was alleged to have “undermined and marginalised” a party member believed to be sitting Cork East TD Sandra McLellan.

A party source said Sinn Féin wanted to make it clear there was no allegation of the misappropriation of funds in Ms Mullane’s case.

The party’s Cobh cumann is to meet on Wednesday night and Cllr McCarthy said he expects another mass resignation.

He said he was not shocked by the decision in Fermoy and said trouble had been brewing in the party for months.

“I have been in the party for over 30 years and they obviously expected me to go quietly,” he said. “But I have no choice.”