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Controversial councillor Paddy Holohan leaves Sinn Féin citing complaints with party investigation

The Tallaght South representative on South Dublin County Council has said he will remain as an independent.

Councillor Paddy Holloman in a video he released today.
Councillor Paddy Holloman in a video he released today.
Image: Instagram

CONTROVERSIAL COUNCILLOR PADDY Holohan is no longer a member of Sinn Féin and has branded his treatment by the party as “highly unfair”.

The Tallaght South representative on South Dublin County Council has said he will remain on the council as an independent. 

In a video released on his Instagram page this afternoon, Holohan said he has decided “not to renew” his membership of Sinn Féin, citing issues with a disciplinary procedure he faced. 

Holohan was suspended by the party early last year following a number of comments he made on his podcast. The former MMA fighter had said that Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar was “separated from society” because of his Indian heritage, despite Varadkar being born and raised in Dublin. 

Holohan also claimed that “loads” of underage girls were having sex with men in order to blackmail them. 

After returning to the party following his suspension, local Sinn Féin councillors nominated Holohan for the post of mayor but he was not elected to the post.

The decision to nominate him for mayor was criticised by senior Sinn Féin TDs and the party subsequently suspendered all activity in the Dublin South-West constituency amid the fallout from the controversy. 

Referencing that decision today, Holohan said the findings of an investigation by the party into his actions have not been released. 

“I’m making this video today to announce that I will not be moving forward as a member of Sinn Fein. I have decided to not renew my membership,” he said in the post.

Last year I was placed under an investigation and the findings of the investigation have not been released to the public, to the media and or to the members of Sinn Féin themselves. I find this highly unfair considering I respected the investigation and I have stayed silent on this matter up until now. I will continue to move forward as a councillor in South Dublin County Council and I will not be affiliated to any party. 

Holohan’s membership of the party came under further scrutiny last month after he posted on Facebook in support of a hair salon owner in Balbriggan who had opened her shop in defiance of Covid-19 regulations. 

Sinn Féin had said it was investigating Holohan’s post and, in his message today, Holohan said he did receive “a complaint” about his public support for the hair salon owner. 

“I want to stress that I was not asking anybody to break any regulations or restrictions in this post, I was merely showing my support for a business that had found themselves in a similar situation to thousands of other businesses across the country during this pandemic,” he said. 

Asked about his decision, a spokesperson for Sinn Féin confirmed that Holohan “hasn’t renewed his membership and is no longer a member.”

Asked about the status of the party’s investigation that Holohan had complained about, the spokesperson said that “the fact that he is no longer a member means that it will cease”.

“We can’t continue an investigation if the person is no longer a member so it has been stood down,” the spokesperson said.  

Holohan, who was known as ‘The Hooligan’ while an active MMA fighter, fought 15 times as a professional and previously headlined an event in Dublin’s 3Arena before being forced to retire in 2016 due to a rare blood disorder. 

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He was first elected as a councillor for Sinn Féin in 2019

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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