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Thursday 18 July 2019

Suspended Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin resigns

The Meath West representative was given a six-month suspension from the party after he voted against abortion legislation.

Peadar Toibin (Julien Behal/PA)
Peadar Toibin (Julien Behal/PA)

By Aoife Moore, Press Association

Suspended Sinn Fein TD Peadar Toibin resigned from the party on Thursday with a “heavy heart”.

The Meath West representative was given a six-month suspension from the party after he broke party whip and voted against abortion legislation last month.

He posted his resignation statement on social media around noon on Thursday saying that as a member of the party for 21 years, had “poured all my efforts into achieving Irish Unity & Economic Justice. This clearly is no longer enough”.

In his statement, the 44-year-old claimed he had been ostracised in the party due to his anti-abortion views, which reneged on an earlier agreement from November 2012 which stated he would not be marginalised due to his stance on the matter.

Mr Toibin actively campaigned for a No vote during last year’s referendum on the eighth amendment, even though his party had supported a Yes vote.

He has been suspended from the party twice.

Mr Toibin was first suspended for six months in 2013 after voting against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

“I have lost speaking rights, spokespersons positions, portfolios, and have been significantly censored in my engagements with the media.

“These actions have prevented me from fully representing my constituents,” he wrote.

He added he had written a letter to the Sinn Fein leadership querying whether there was a place for him in the party, to which he received no reply.

Mr Toibin told Virgin Media News on Thursday afternoon he now hopes to build a movement of people who feel similarly disaffected by Sinn Fein’s direction, though he does not wish any ill or harm on the party.

PA Media

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