Sinn Féin is taking disciplinary action against councillor Paddy Holohan after he failed to remove a Facebook post supporting a salon owner who reopened in breach of Covid-19 restrictions.
Senior Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said there is a disciplinary procedure underway after Mr Holohan, who has previously been suspended from the party, failed to remove the post.
“This fella made a comment, we told him that comment isn’t in keeping with the party’s view, we told him to withdraw it, he isn’t doing so, there’s a disciplinary procedure, the party will deal with that,” Mr Doherty told Independent.ie’s The Floating Voter podcast.
In a post on his Facebook page last month, Mr Holohan described C&N Beauty Room owner Christine McTiernan as “inspiring” after she was arrested by gardaí for opening her business during Level 5 restrictions.
Mr Holohan has previously been suspended from the party over derogatory comments about women and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. Mr Doherty said on Friday that while there was huge frustration with restrictions there was consensus around the need for the public health measures.
Elsewhere in a wide-ranging discussion, Mr Doherty said that Sinn Féin is preparing itself for a general election, noting there is a lot of internal tension in the coalition parties.
“Those things bring on elections, a leadership challenge in Fine Gael or indeed Fianna Fáil can actually bring on an election. Do I believe it [the Government] will last? I don’t know, all I know is that we’re getting ready, we’re selecting our candidates, we’re making sure we have enough candidates in the field," the party's finance spokesperson said.
He noted that the party had “left a number of seats behind us” in the last election because it did not run enough candidates in certain constituencies.
Mr Doherty also defended Sinn Féin’s role in failing to secure cross-border consensus on Covid-19 restrictions, insisting it was not possible because of the DUP’s reluctance. He said criticism of Sinn Féin for this was “like saying isn’t it terrible that Sinn Féin can’t convince the DUP that Brexit is bad”.
The Donegal TD criticised the UK government’s unilateral decision this week to extend post-Brexit grace periods for Northern Ireland without consultation with the EU, saying it was “really, really bad faith”.
He also said that the State had ‘no option” but to stop doing business with Davy Stockbrokers after it was hit with a record €4.1m fine by the Central Bank for regulatory breaches.