Friday 9 December 2016

There is no problem of bullying in Sinn Fein - TD

Joyce Fegan and Niall O'Connor

Published 30/06/2015 | 12:48

Sinn Fein Justice spokesman Aengus O Snodaigh TD
Sinn Fein Justice spokesman Aengus O Snodaigh TD

Sinn Fein TD Aengus O’Snodaigh says he does not believe there is a problem of bullying within the party.

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Mr O’Snodaigh today said the party has put in a “robust mechanism” to deal with allegations of bullying and other grievances expressed by members.

The Dublin South Central TD was responding to claims made today by former councillor Jonathan Dowdall who said be quit the party after being bullied by members.

Mr Dowdall was a councillor in Dublin Central, which is also represented by Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Former councillor Jonathan Dowdall
Former councillor Jonathan Dowdall

His claims of bullying came on the back of controversy in Cork East involving a number of councillors and Sinn Fein TD Sandra McLellan.

The party expelled councillor Kieran McCarthy and suspended councillor Melissa Mullane for 12 months following an internal party review.

As reported last week, tensions existed between both councillors and Ms McLellan.

But in further controversy today, Mr Dowdall went public in an interview with the Herald and claimed that he was subjected to bullying.

“Bullying is allowed to go on in certain parts of Sinn Fein,” the father-of-four said.

Mr Dowdall resigned his council seat earlier this year after suffering ill-health. He has now joined the election team of former Lord Mayor and independent councillor Christy Burke.

Asked about Mr Dowdall’s claims today, Mr O’Snodaigh said any allegation of bullying will be looked at by the party.

Asked whether there is problem with bullying within Sinn Fein, Mr O’Snodaigh said:

“No I don’t believe there is any problem with bullying in the party. I think Sinn Fein has put in place a robust mechanism to investigate any complaint, whether it is bullying or otherwise.

“And, what happened in Cork, a investigation was put in place, quite robust, they looked at the issue. One councillor was expelled as a result and another suspended. And I think that shows the party is willing to take action against people who complaints are made against.”

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