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internal affairs

There could be a mass resignation of Sinn Féin members in Cork East

Party members in the constituency will hold emergency branch meetings in the coming days.

sf-cllrs Kieran McCarthy and Melissa Mullane Sinn Féin / Facebook Sinn Féin / Facebook / Facebook

SINN FÉIN ORGANISATIONS in Cork East will hold emergency meetings in the coming days in the wake of the expulsion of one councillor and the suspension of another from the party yesterday.

The party cumann in Fermoy will hold an emergency meeting this evening with other meetings planned in Mallow and Cobh amid a suggestion there could be a mass resignation of members.

It follows Sinn Féin’s decision to expel long-serving Cobh councillor Kieran McCarthy and suspend Mallow-based councillor Melissa Mullane for a year following a confidential internal investigation.

Meanwhile, a long-serving member in Cork East, who declined to be named, said that some members are livid with developments over the last 24 hours. They claimed:

“At the moment there is fierce disbelief and fierce anger. You could be looking at 90 members resigning publicly in the next few days.

Sinn Féin has refused to give any explanation for its decision in relation to the two councillors.

The expulsion and suspension followed an internal review of the Cork East branch carried out by Cork North-Central TD Jonathan O’Brien.

j-ob-pic-4-390x516 Jonathan O'Brien

The entire local officer board in the constituency was stood down and the review was instigated in February amid tensions between sitting Cork East TD Sandra McLellan and Mullane and McCarthy.

This came after Mullane and McCarthy declared their interest in seeking the Sinn Féin nomination to run in the next general election in Cork East.

The potential selection of Mullane and McCarthy at a convention – the date for which has yet to be set – would have resulted in McLellan being de-selected.

McCarthy claimed yesterday he had been “stabbed in the back” by the party he had been a member of for 34 years. He believes his desire to put his name forward resulted in the party trying to “prevent a full and open democratic convention”.

Mullane has not returned calls but a well-placed sourced said she was informed that she was suspended for “uncomradely behaviour”.

mclellan Sandra McLellan

An anonymous blog, ‘An Rebel Og’, which strongly criticised McLellan and the party generally, is believed to have formed part of the O’Brien review.

A number of posts on the blog had been deleted although one summarising the situation in Cork East was reposted yesterday. McCarthy said today he did not know who was behind the blog.

O’Brien was also made aware of various allegations in the constituency, including the alleged altering of minutes from a Cork East constituency meeting where McLellan’s performance as a TD was questioned.

McLellan had not responded to calls at the time of publication.

Read: Expelled Sinn Féin councillor claims party ‘stabbed me in the back’

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