Ousted SF members to run candidate in next General Election
Three County Councillors who were forced out of the Sinn Féin party earlier this year intend to field an independent candidate in the next General Election.
In September, Cllr Gerry O'Neill, Cllr John Snell and Cllr Oliver O'Brien were expelled from Sinn Fin having previously lost the whip for failing to support Cllr Nicola Lawless as the party leader in Wicklow County Council.
All three intend to contest the next Local Elections along with former Bray Town Councillor Rossa Murray, and it has now been confirmed that they will also run a candidate in the next General Election.
Cllr Gerry O'Neill, who had been a member of Sinn Fein since 1971, said the group will be working alongside other former Sinn Féin members who are disillusioned with the direction of the party.
'We have held some very constructive public meetings throughout the county over recent months. We have been organising ourselves and we will be running a candidate in the General Election. I know similar operations will be taking place in West Cork, Kildare and Tipperary. We will all be working together as a unit having had similar experiences with Sinn Féin.
'We will have our own manifesto and posters which will easily identify us. We all intend to work together.
Cllr O'Neill believes that, nationwide, there could be six or seven former Sinn Féin candidates contesting the election.
While the identity of the General Election candidate has yet to be revealed, Cllr John Snell would appear to be favourite for selection.
Cllr O'Neill said both he and Councillors Snell and O'Brien remained unhappy with their treatment by Sinn Fein.
'We are very sore about what happened and how it happened and we do intend to challenge Deputy John Brady in the next General Election.'