Sinn Féin rocked by resignation of another party councillor in Cork East
Sinn Fein has been rocked by the resignation of a second party councillor in Cork East as a major internal party dispute continues to rage.
June Murphy, a Mitchelstown-based councillor who represents the Fermoy area, has said she had been unavoidably caught up in the acrimonious party row, and has confirmed she was quitting.
In a statement, she said: “I would like to take this opportunity to announce my resignation from the Sinn Fein party. I have not taken this decision lightly and have only come to it after many months of soul searching.”
Her departure follows that of Cllr Kieran McCarthy, from Cobh, who left the party during the summer. He will contest the general election as an Independent candidate.
In June, Mr McCarthy was expelled from the party and Kanturk-based Cllr Melissa Mullane was suspended, following an internal dispute that also involved Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan.
Mr McCarthy was subsequently offered temporary reinstatement but declined it. Ms Mullane has had her suspension lifted.
In her statement, Cllr Murphy referrred to the controversy that saw Mallow-based county councillor Melissa Mullane suspended from Sinn Fein in June, only to be reinstated last weekend.
Cllr Murphy said: “As most people will be aware there have been some issues within the Sinn Fein party in East Cork. Upon my return to the party last year I found myself unwillingly and unavoidably caught up in these issues.
"Although I have tried, at all times, to do my my best, both for the party and for the people of my constituency who elected me to represent them, I have found my time in the party to be an increasingly negative experience. I have participated wholeheartedly in all party efforts to resolve the aforementioned issues.
"However, I have now got to the point where I hold no hope of this experience improving in the foreseeable future and it is for that reason that I have taken the decision to leave the party. I intend continue to represent the people of the Fermoy Municipal District who elected me to the very best of my ability.”
A Sinn Fein spokesperson said they were sorry to see Cllr Murphy leave the party but said she should return her seat to the party. He said: “June Murphy is a very hard working councillor and public representative.
"We are very sorry to see her go. It is important to note that Cllr Murphy’s resignation is not a result any political or policy differences with the party. “We have requested that Cllr Murphy returns the council seat to the party as she was elected on a Sinn Féin mandate.”