Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan will contest in selection convention

54 SF Members quit on Thursday after expulsion of McCarthy, suspension of Mullane

 

Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan, who is at the centre of a constuency dispute in Cork, has said she will contest in the upcoming selection convention.

Ms McLellan said the internal review has been “very tough” for members.

Ms McLellan said she will contest the selection to get on the general election convention.

It emerged on Thursday that over fifty members of the Sinn Féin cumann in Cobh, Co Cork resigned in protest at the expulsion of party councillor Kieran McCarthy, of Cobh, and the suspension for a year of Melissa Mullane, of Mallow.

Cllr McCarthy was expelled from the party on Monday following an internal review of its organisation in Cork East. Cllr Mullane, who represents the Kanturk/Mallow constituency, was suspended for a year.

The resignations follow similar action at the party’s Fermoy cumann on Tuesday night where 15 members quit in protest at the treatment of the two councillors.

Sandra McLellan said: “It has been long but it has been thorough and I believe that it has been fair.

“Nobody likes to lose party members but now is the time to move on from this whole episode and I am looking forward to getting on with the party’s work in the constituency and building for the future.

“I will be contesting the upcoming convention and hope to win the support of the party members in Cork East to stand once again for Sinn Féin and to retain this seat for the party.”

The party has refused to disclose why the action was taken against the two councillors.

A statement purporting to represent the members of Sinn Féin’s Cobh cumann claimed that 54 members had resigned in protest at the treatment meted out to two party councillors in Cork.

“We deplore the unjust, undemocratic and reprehensible manner in which our two comrades were and are being treated by our former party.”

The statement of the Michael Burke Cumann Cobh declares that the two councillors are of “good standing” in Cork.

It is understood that notice of the resignations are being forwarded to Sinn Féin headquarters in Dublin. Sinn Féin said they had “not received notifications of resignations.”

Party structures in the area have been “stood down” and the party plans to contact members in the East Cork constituency in the coming days to brief them on the situation and to “ensure that they have the full information relating to the constituency review.”

It is understood that Sinn Féin members in Carrigtwohill and Midleton are also considering resigning over the controversy.

A spokesman for Sinn Féin disputed the Fermoy resignations saying that five persons purporting to resign were not even party members and that four other names on the list had not been informed about the letter.

Cllr Kieran McCarthy earlier this week accused senior party figures of operating a Spanish Inquisition-style system.

He has claimed his expulsion is entirely about the selection convention for next year’s general election.

He also stressed it was about his criticisms of how the party was conducting work in the Cobh area.

“I was the one being left to do all the work,” he said.

Sinn Féin has refuted his claims.