BRIAN Lenihan's private assistant has dramatically quit Fianna Fail, claiming she was accused by party members of sending the late finance minister "to his grave a broken man".
Marian Quinlan, who served as Mr Lenihan's constituency secretary for 16 years, said she has lost faith in the running of the party and the local Fianna Fail branch in Dublin West.
Ms Quinlan claims she has been subjected to false rumours by other party members relating to the decision to add councillor David McGuinness to the party ticket in the 2011 General Election.
She alleges she was falsely accused of causing deep upset and stress to Mr Lenihan prior to his death by recommending that Mr McGuinness be added as a running mate against the wishes of the Cabinet heavyweight.
"I was informed last December, by a member of the party, a member of the organisation here in Dublin West, that I personally sent the late Brian Lenihan to his grave a broken man because I allegedly insisted on having Dave McGuinness on the ticket in the 2011 General Election, which was absolute rubbish as I'm sure you all know," Ms Quinlan said.
Announcing her resignation at a party meeting in Castleknock on Wednesday night, Ms Quinlan said Mr Lenihan's preference was for Mr McGuinness to be his running mate.
Ms Quinlan's remarks are recorded in a video of the meeting on Wednesday night which has been obtained by the Herald. She confirmed her remarks and her decision to quit the party after over 30 years as a member.
Mr McGuinness narrowly lost out in both the 2011 and 2014 by-elections in Dublin West.
Mr McGuinness has since quit the party and has been very critical of the leadership.
He now intends to contest the election as an independent candidate.
Remarking on Mr McGuinness' defeat, Ms Quinlan said party members abandoned the now independent councillor.