'Peter Casey was totally correct' - Sinn Féin councillor quits amid hitting out at party's policies on candidate selection and rural crime
SINN Féin councillor David Doran has quit the party claiming the way the party selected a candidate in his county was an “affront to democracy” and hitting out at its policies on rural crime.
In a lengthy statement Mr Doran also claimed that controversial Presidential Candidate Peter Casey was “totally correct” about a dispute involving Traveller housing in Tipperary.
Thurles-based councillor Mr Doran – who was a Sinn Féin member for 25 years - is the latest in a series of local representatives to quit or be expelled by the party due to internal rows.
He is highly critical of a general election selection convention held last year claiming that men were excluded from putting their names forward.
Mr Doran argued this was an “affront to democracy” and “highly insulting to women”.
He that as a long-serving party representative: “I should have been let contest, like anyone else, who was a party member”.
“To be ruled out because of my gender was just totally wrong and undemocratic”.
He also said he had been seeking a tougher approach to crime saying that “vicious thugs and criminals” should be denied free legal aid and get longer sentences “in cold cells without flatscreen TVs".
He said this stance wasn’t supported by Sinn Féin who he claimed have a “more rehabilitative outlook” and a “much more softly, softly approach”.
He accused the party of having a focus on criminals’ difficult upbringings and “little on the many victims of rural crime”.
Mr Doran also referenced the dispute over Traveller Housing in Tipperary saying he was at odds with Sinn Féin on that.
The row over the houses became the subject of controversy during the Presidential Election when it was highlighted by Independent candidate Peter Casey leading to a deluge of criticism from rival candidates and Travellers’ rights groups.
Mr Doran claimed that six houses that cost €1.7m have been left idle while the local authority negotiates with the prospective tenants while there are 900 people on the housing list.
He said “Peter Casey in my opinion was totally correct. It’s a scandal”.
Mr Doran this afternoon denied he’s against Travellers but criticised the houses being left idle.
He has said he intends to contest the upcoming local elections as an independent candidate.
This evening a Sinn Féin spokesman said it is “clear” from Mr Doran’s statement that his “political views have moved to the right and no longer tally with Sinn Féin’s political outlook.”
He said all political parties are obliged to meet gender quotas or face fines.
“Unfortunately that often leads to tough and unpopular decisions but Sinn Féin is determined to meet its quotas and the promote more women in politics.”