Sinn Fein hit by new crisis as Forde quits
BUST-UP: Councillor dumps party as he refuses to toe line over City budget
SINN Fein has been plunged into a fresh crisis in Dublin today after another city councillor quit the party.
Up-and-coming Killian Forde has resigned after a row erupted over his support for Dublin City Council's 2010 budget.
His resignation is the third from the party since last June's local election and leaves Sinn Fein with just four members in City Hall.
Party bosses today attacked the young councillor, saying it was clear he was in the wrong party.
Dublin chairman Eoin O Broin said: "Killian Forde clearly has problems with this position and with the politics of Sinn Fein.
"It has become increasingly obvious that Councillor Forde is in the wrong political party."
The party now wants him to give up his seat on the council altogether and allow them to co-opt a new Sinn Fein councillor.
However, this is extremely unlikely to happen and one source told the Herald that Mr Forde may be considering a move to Labour.
Sinn Fein was "vehemently opposed" to the council's recent estimates but Mr Forde went against the party line saying they offered the "best possible deal".
He was unavailable for comment today, but earlier this week he told the Herald: "We've had so many years of 'chancerism' in Ireland.
"It would have been total chancerism if I had gone in there and voted against it.
"It would have been utterly cynical if I had voted against it."
The councillor's departure follows the exit of former colleagues Christy Burke and Louise Minihan last year, who both remain in public office as independents.
This means the party's representation in the city has been reduced from seven to four councillors since the local elections.
The Donaghmede-based politician resigned before being disciplined by the party for his decision to back the budget.
He insisted the annual estimates for city finances offered the "best possible deal" available.
Local authorities across the country have been adopting tougher budgets aimed at reigning in spending as income dwindles. But Sinn Fein councillors on the city council were under strict orders from the party's hierarchy to oppose the budget.
One of the party's main reasons for rejecting the budget was that it abolished the waiver system for waste charges.
In the wake of the vote, a statement was issued on the Sinn Fein website stating Councillor Forde had "acted in breach of his mandate from the party".
When long-time councillor Christy Burke resigned last June, he insisted voters had chosen him rather than the party and it is likely that Mr Forde will take a similar view.
The remaining Sinn Fein representatives on the city council are Larry O'Toole, Criona Ni Dhalaigh, Dessie Ellis and Seamas McGrattan.