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Flynn joins Ahern in quitting FF ahead of vote to expel him

The former minister and European Commissioner resigns his membership of Fianna Fáil, joining Bertie Ahern on the scrapheap.

Pádraig 'Pee' Flynn at the Fianna Fáil Árd-Fheis in 1989: Flynn has this afternoon resigned his membership of the party.
Pádraig 'Pee' Flynn at the Fianna Fáil Árd-Fheis in 1989: Flynn has this afternoon resigned his membership of the party.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FORMER EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER Padraig Flynn has formally resigned his membership of the Fianna Fáil party, four days ahead of a vote to expel him from its ranks.

The former commissioner and cabinet minister this afternoon formally wrote to the party headquarters resigning his membership of the party.

Flynn joins former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and councillor John Hannon in resigning his membership of the party today.

He had been a member of the party for at least 45 years, entering political life as a member of Mayo County Council in 1967. He became a TD a decade later, and rose to cabinet ranks in 1982 before later being appointed European Commissioner for social affairs in 1993.

Flynn, Ahern and Hannon had been among the party members implicated in the final report of the Mahon Tribunal, published last week, and a vote on expelling them from the party was due at a meeting of the National Executive this Friday.

The report had said Flynn accepted a donation of IR£50,000 from developer Tom Gilmartin, which the latter purportedly gave on the understanding that it was a donation to the Fianna Fáil party.

It added, however, that Flynn had kept the donation for himself, and allegedly use the funding to buy a farm in the name of his wife. Flynn rejects the finding, saying on Friday he had never sought or accepted a corrupt payment.


Friday’s meeting is still due to go ahead to discuss the expulsion of other members, and proposals to strip the Dublin Central constituency organisation of its assets and put them in the control of the party’s general secretary Sean Dorgan.

The other members up for expulsion are former TD and senator G V Wright, former senator Don Lydon and former councillor Finbarr Hanrahan.

TheJournal.ie understands that Wright has also indicated his intention to resign his party membership ahead of Friday’s meeting, which is widely expected to endorse the proposals from current leader Micheál Martin that the members be booted out of the party.

Last night Labour junior minister Joe Costello had added his voice to calls for Flynn to be stripped of his pension from the European Commission, following calls from his party colleague Nessa Childers MEP over the weekend.

This evening another junior minister, Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes, told this website he would also support the proposal to have the pensions stripped.

A constitutional amendment would be required in order to allow former members of the Oireachtas be stripped of their pensions, but provisions already exist at European level which can lead to former office holders losing their entitlements.

Read: Two down: Bertie Ahern officially resigns from Fianna Fáil

More: Pensions of corrupt politicians ‘could be cut off’ – junior minister

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Gavan Reilly

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