Councillor hits out at SF after his expulsion
A councillor who was expelled by Sinn Féin this week has said his former party does not "resemble republicanism".
Wicklow elected representative Gerry O'Neill is one of three councillors in the constituency to be thrown out of the party following a bitter internal row.
John Snell and Oliver O'Brien have also been expelled - meaning that Sinn Féin has now lost half of its members on the council.
All three of the men are steadfastly refusing to give back their seats to the party.
Mr O'Neill last night again pointed the blame at the local TD John Brady, whose resignation he had previously demanded.
"I believe in the principles of the republican movement and will forever be a republican," Mr O'Neill said.
He continued: "It's a bit insulting that this group would suggest that I am no longer a member of Sinn Féin; they don't resemble republicanism by any manner or means.
"No matter what conclusions they may come to regarding me, I will remain a republican and committed to the good people of west and south Wicklow for a long as they want me," he added.
In a statement, the party at national level said that it had attempted for 18 months to resolve the dispute in the council.
"A resolution has not been possible and the Sinn Féin ard comhairle has moved to expel from the party three councillors who have failed to attend council team meetings over the past 18 months," the statement read.