Sinn Féin may take action against Dessie Ellis
Party tells TD remarks about Noeleen O’Reilly ‘out of order’
Sinn Féin Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis: has been requested to attend a meeting with the party leadership to assess if further action is required. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Sinn Féin has not ruled out taking further disciplinary action against Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis as part of its response to the ongoing dispute in the constituency.
The bitter and long-running row led to the resignation of Cllr Noeleen Reilly from the party on Monday.
It follows the decision from the ardchomhairle on Sunday to suspend her for six months, in response to allegations she bullied another councillor in the area.
It is understood the party’s ardchomhairle considered correspondence exchanged between Ms Reilly and a friend, suggesting Ms Reilly had tried to undermine Cllr Cathleen Carney Boud.
The party also found messages exchanged between Ms Reilly and her friend criticising Mr Ellis for attending a meeting on women’s rights.
Party sources said it had documentary evidence of Ms Reilly seeking to undermine her colleagues and had to act on such.
In response, it suspended Ms Reilly for six months but she took the decision on Monday to resign from the party. The Irish Times contacted Ms Reilly for comment but was unable to reach her.
In a statement, she said she had been left with no other choice but to leave Sinn Féin and alleged she had been the victim of an “orchestrated” bullying campaign in the constituency.
Ms Reilly alleged her treatment included “physical assaults, verbal abuse, total isolation, smear campaigns” and had sought to have it addressed internally since 2014.
“Every time I did so it was either ignored or an angle was found to blame me for their treatment.
‘The wrong people’
“Unfortunately I was just up against the wrong people and this was never a battle I was going to win.”
The allegation concerning physical assault has not been directed at Mr Ellis. The party has insisted it urged Ms Reilly to report any claims of abuse to An Garda Síochána as the person it is levelled against is not a member of Sinn Féin.
It has now requested she hand her seat on Dublin City Council back to the party but she has refused that request insisting she will remain as an independent councillor.
Meanwhile, Mr Ellis, who is the sitting TD in the area, has been censured by the party for comments he made against the councillor in the national media.
Party sources said the ardchomhairle had written to Mr Ellis informing him his remarks were “out of order”.
Attend a meeting
He has been requested to attend a meeting with the party whip and its leadership to assess if further action is required.
Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday, Mr Ellis said he did not wish to make any comment on the matter, insisting he had it “up to my eyes” with the dispute.
Meanwhile, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh , who left Sinn Féin amid claims of inaction on his complaints on disciplinary matters, has confirmed he is to leave politics.
Mr Ó Clochartaigh will become a communications manager with TG4.