Saturday 21 September 2019

Fine Gael probe rejects John Deasy's claim of bullying in Waterford constituency

John Deasy. Picture: Damien Eagers
John Deasy. Picture: Damien Eagers
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

An internal Fine Gael investigation into the party's Waterford branch has dismissed allegations of bullying within the organisation.

General secretary Tom Curran told a meeting in Dungarvan he found no evidence to support the claims.

The review was launched after the local organisation tabled a motion of no confidence in long-standing TD John Deasy. Mr Deasy lodged a bullying complaint with headquarters after the motion was passed and called for the Waterford organisation to be stood down.

His claims were supported by party local election candidate Fiona Dowd, who complained about a "mob mentality".

Ms Dowd said she had cancelled her membership "effective immediately" as she could no longer support a party "that condones the type of behaviour" that had been allegedly happening.

Fine Gael senator Paudie Coffey, selected to run in the next general election, insisted there was no bullying in the constituency organisation.

Former Fine Gael senator Maurice Cummins, who recently resigned as director of elections for the local elections, also insisted there was no bullying in the branch. Mr Cummins said he was “very pleased” to have his name cleared of any allegations after 40 years of service to the party.

Last Thursday, Mr Curran told a meeting he found no evidence of bullying and said he would not be disbanding the constituency's officer board. A senior Fine Gael source said: "The review has been concluded and the allegations were unfounded."

Mr Coffey said he welcomed the findings and said he was focused on rebuilding the organisation.

Mr Deasy said he would not comment on a report he had not seen.

Irish Independent

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