Wednesday 26 October 2016

Former Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan claims he is being 'punished' for speaking out against Taoiseach

Published 06/01/2016 | 22:56

Former Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan
Former Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan

FORMER Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan has written a letter to voters in his constituency defending his record and seeking their support ahead of the General Election.

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Mr Conlan, who quit the party  days before he was charged with assault in November, wrote to voters in Cavan/Monaghan before Christmas pledging to continue working for them if re-elected as an Independent.

In the letter, he claimed he has been “punished” for speaking out against Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys during the John McNulty Seanad fiasco, and this ultimately led to his departure from the party.

“Unfortunately, I believe that the values of the party have been extremely damaged by a small few at the top,” Mr Conlan said.

“I did not make this decision without serious consideration and thought. I feel I must be true to the people who elected me and put them to the forefront of my work as a public representative.

“I honestly feel I have been punished for my actions in speaking out. I did this in the interest of democracy and for the greater good of the people,” he added.

He said resigning from Fine Gael was the “most difficult decision” he ever made but insisted he did so because the Government is “selectively discriminating” against the people of Cavan and Monaghan.

He attacked Arts Minister Heather Humphreys for not supporting a motion he put before the Fine Gael parliamentary party calling for North South Interconnector pylon project to be placed underground rather than on land.

He also defended his involvement in the controversy surrounding €10,000 diamond ring, which resulted in a UK antiques dealer contacting the Taoiseach when she could not reach Mr Conlan after giving him the ring.

He made reference to his recent arrest over an alleged assault but the details of what he alleged in the letter can not be published for legal reasons.

“I will not allow issues which are nothing to do with politics or the manners in which I represent people hinder me in anyway,” he said

“I will continue to be the voice of people regardless of the consequence. An elected representative should be allowed to represent their people in an open and fearless manner,” he added

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