Sunday 25 September 2016

One-time McDonald acolyte was elected on crest of a wave for Sinn Féin in local elections

Published 11/03/2016 | 02:30

Mary Lou McDonald with Jonathan Dowdall
Mary Lou McDonald with Jonathan Dowdall

Jonathan Dowdall first arrived into Dublin City Council on the crest of a wave of support for Sinn Féin during the last local elections in May 2014.

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Mr Dowdall, a former acolyte of Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, got in on the 13th count in the Inner City North district. He was elected alongside his running mate Janice Boylan and Independent councillor Christy Burke.

In September, Mr Dowdall made the decision to step down from his role on the local authority and initially cited health reasons.

However, the following June, the father of four told our sister paper 'The Herald' that he quit due to bullying within the party.

"There were numerous attacks on myself from a certain element within Sinn Féin, and there were attacks on my team members," he said.

He said that after he fell ill the previous year he was getting calls three or four times a day from Sinn Féin officials instructing him to either return to work or give up his seat.

He also claimed he was barred from visiting certain areas of his constituency as it would upset other members of the party.

He said he could not "stand by" while this was going on and took the decision to leave the party.

Sinn Féin strenuously denied the claims - and insisted Mr Dowdall never raised any bullying allegations while he was in the party.

Mr Dowdall did not support Mary Lou McDonald in the recent General Election campaign.

He said he had a lot of respect for Ms McDonald but wanted to do what was best for the people of north inner-city Dublin.

Irish Independent

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