Saturday 17 March 2018

Sinn Féin bullying so bad I considered suicide: councillor

Councillor Séamus Morris alleged a ‘hate campaign’
Councillor Séamus Morris alleged a ‘hate campaign’
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A Sinn Féin councillor has revealed that he considered taking his own life due to bullying within the party.

Tipperary councillor Séamus 'Séamie' Morris is the second party member this week to publicly raise concerns about bullying within Sinn Féin.

In a statement to the 'Tipperary Star', Mr Morris said he had been a "victim of an intense, nine-month hate campaign of harassment and slander".

He said the ordeal had taken him to a "very dark place" where he even "considered ending it all". "It can be a very lonely place indeed," he added.

Mr Morris confirmed details of the statement to the Irish Independent and said he had "endured nine months of hell", which resulted in Sinn Féin seeking to remove him from its local branch.

The councillor claimed to have been subjected to a "whispering campaign" after he had clashed with Sinn Féin officials over a local dispute.

He said Sinn Féin wanted only "party disciples" in the organisation and did not appreciate "free-speaking" members.

A spokesperson for the party said: "We are not aware of any whispering campaign against Séamie. We are currently dealing with the issues that he has raised with us and Séamie has participated in that process.

"Séamie remains a Sinn Féin member and councillor."

Mr Morris said he was speaking out in support of Limerick Sinn Féin councillor Lisa Marie Sheehy, who quit the party earlier this week amid bullying claims.

He praised Ms Sheehy and said he did not want to see her isolated for speaking out about her treatment within the party.

"The loss of Councillor Lisa Marie Sheehy is, in my opinion, unforgivable and makes me wonder has the party the skills to conduct these reviews/investigations, particularly ones that have claims of bullying," he said.

On Tuesday, Ms Sheehy said she had been forced to leave the party after she was "undermined, bullied and humiliated".

Mr Morris and Ms Sheehy are among a growing number of Sinn Féin councillors quitting the party over bullying allegations.

There have also been allegations of bullying by councillors in counties Kildare, Tipperary, Cavan, Cork and Wicklow.

However, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has insisted his party does not have an issue with internal bullying.

Irish Independent

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