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Expelled Sinn Féin councillor claims party 'stabbed me in the back'

Sinn Féin has expelled veteran Cork councillor Kieran McCarthy and suspended Melissa Mullane following a confidential internal review.

Updated 6.40pm

sf-cllrs Kieran McCarthy has been expelled while Melissa Mullane has been suspended from Sinn Féin Source: Sinn Féin/Facebook

SINN FÉIN HAS suspended one county councillor and suspended another for a year following an internal review of the Cork East constituency.

However, the party has declined to say why it has suspended Cork county councillor Melissa Mullane for a year and expelled Kieran McCarthy.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening, McCarthy said the party had stabbed him in the back and offered him no explanation for its decision.

[For] 34 years I was working for this party and standing as a candidate for this party when few were prepared to put their head above the parapet. Up to this morning I was the longest serving public representative in the whole of county Cork and basically I was stabbed in the back.

He vowed to continue as an independent and pledged to make a more substantial statement in the coming days in a post on his Facebook page:

mccarthy statement Source: Kieran McCarthy Facebook

Cork North-Central TD Jonathan O’Brien confirmed the decision to TheJournal.ie today.

He said that as part of the findings and recommendations of an internal review into the constituency, which he chaired, the decision was taken to expel McCarthy and suspend Mullane. He said:

I can’t go into the detail of the findings. It’s an internal party review and the recommendations will be kept internal.

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

He added that the findings and recommendations of his review will never be made public as it is an internal party matter.

The two councillors have 21 days to appeal the decision which was ratified by Sinn Féin’s Ard Comhairle at the weekend.

McCarthy has been a councillor in Cobh for over two decades and had hoped to contest the general election.

He said this evening he believes his desire to put his name forward resulted in the party trying to “prevent a full and open democratic convention”.

mclellan Sandra McLellan Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Mullane, who is based in Mallow, had also hoped to contest the election. She did not respond to a request for comment today.

The Sunday Times reported last month that the two councillors’ Dáil ambitions had led to tensions between them and sitting Cork East TD Sandra McLellan.

McLellan, who was elected in 2011, faced de-selection if Sinn Féin members selected McCarthy and Mullane to run in Cork East where some favoured a two-candidate strategy.

The tensions resulted in the local officer board in the constituency being stood down while O’Brien carried out a review.

Read: Sinn Féin’s Dublin chair steps down after row over candidate selection

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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