Tuesday 23 January 2018

Micheal Martin suffers fresh blow as councillor David McGuinness resigns from Fianna Fáil

David McGuinness with Micheál Martin.
David McGuinness with Micheál Martin.

Daniel McConnell Group Political Correspondent

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has suffered another blow as Dublin West Councillor and former by election candidate David McGuinness has resigned from the Fianna Fáil party “effective immediately”.

Mr McGuinness will now continue on as an independent councillor on Fingal County Council.

Mr Martin has been under sustained pressure in recent weeks after a succession of stagnant opinion poll ratings and last week saw another of his councillors, Patrick McKee, defect to Renua.

Mr McGuinness who had hinted at leaving the party in the wake of him not securing the nomination to stand for the party in the General Election, said Fianna Fail had “done nothing to rebuild the trust of the people”.

“As a local representative, I have always sought to represent my community and my country in a manner of politics that has been lacking in our political parties. My efforts within Fianna Fáil have failed and I will now continue to fight for the people I represent as an Independent Dublin West Public Representative,” McGuinness said.

Mr McGuinness said he had served his political apprenticeship under the late Brian Lenihan who had him as his running mate in the 2011 general election. He then was the party’s candidate in the subsequent by election in late 2011 to fill the seat vacated by Mr Lenihan’s death.

Mr McGuinness has repeatedly criticised the direction of the party and criticised the failure of the party to recover in Dublin.

“Fianna Fáil have remained at 11-13pc of the poll in Dublin or 17pc nationally. They are no longer the vehicle for changing society for the better,” McGuinness said.

“Despite talk of becoming the largest party at local level, Fianna Fáil support at local level is actually lower in percentage terms in Dublin than ever before and no one ever mentions the disastrous European Election results across Dublin and Ireland. Fianna Fáil is a party in denial who continually show they lack direction, solutions or a vision for the future of this country,” said Mr McGuinness.

Mr McGuinness said: “It is my firm belief that the community of Dublin West will support the decision that I have taken today and I promise to continue working on their behalf in addressing the issues that our community, and this country, faces.”

He added: “While I have many friends within the Fianna Fáil party, I never got involved in politics to ensure the future survival of the party. My focus was and is only on the people of Dublin West. The party is far too concerned with its own internal considerations, its own self preservation, making excuses and not on the plight of the people that I seek to represent. I am now showing leadership and going solo.”

Last month, Mr McGuinness said the very existence of Fianna Fail as a party needs to be questioned if the party cannot deliver for the people. He said he has repeatedly sought to try and influence the party as to its direction, but his efforts have been in vain. Having failed recently to secure the nomination to fight the General Election in Dublin West, Mr McGuinness said there is much concern and disquiet within Fianna Fail. "There is a lot of disquiet in our party at the minute," he said. He also said he is now considering running as an independent. "I am considering it, of course I am considering. Close to 10,000 people supported me," he told the Herald. "It's my future, my political future." The Dublin West councillor was speaking after it was reported that a host of TDs were frustrated at the party's continued poor poll ratings.

A response from Mr Martin and the party has not yet been forthcoming.

Online Editors

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