Cavan Councillor Sarah O’Reilly has resigned from Fianna Fáil, saying there’s a “serious disconnect” between members on the ground and the party’s leadership. But it’s believed problems in the party locally were also behind the decision. She made the announcement in a statement issued this morning.
She’s hit out at leadership in the party, including Micheál Martin and some senior TDs, saying they’re “articulating views that are unrecognisable to grass root members”. She continues, thanking people who have supported her within Fianna Fáil but she says she’s “experienced difficulties within the organisation”. Councillor O’Reilly was a vocal pro-life campaigner ahead of May’s referendum and she’s announced her intention to join the party being formed by former Sinn Féin TD Peadar Toibín.
She’s the third local Fianna Fáil member to publicly criticise the leadership. Councillor Philip Brady raised concerns at the party’s Ballyjamesduff MD selection convention this week. Party activist Kristopher Shekelton resigned his membership last week. Both said the party leadership was out of touch. However, Longford Councillor Joe Flaherty denied that on The Joe Finnegan Show today:
However, it’s believed disputes in Fianna Fáil in Cavan were also behind Sarah O’Reilly’s decision to leave the party. Party whip on Cavan County Council John Paul Feeley tweeted his disappointment at her decision but said the “treatment she received locally by some within the party is atrocious”.
Surprised my colleague @sarahreilly30 is moving from @fiannafailparty A courageous dedicated public representative & massive loss. Nationally the Party has abandoned many of us but the treatment she recieved locally by some within our party is atrocious @NewsonNS @theanglocelt
— John Paul Feeley (@JohnPaulFeeley) December 7, 2018
Sarah O’Reilly hasn’t made any further comment on her statement, other than to confirm its contents to Northern Sound News.
Statement from Sarah O’Reilly
Cavan County Councillor Sarah O’Reilly has today resigned her membership of Fianna Fáil. Cllr O’Reilly who represents the Bailieborough/ Cootehill area on Cavan County Council stated “its with great sadness that I announce my resignation today. I joined Fianna Fáil nearly 10 years ago as I sought to help make a difference for the people of County Cavan. Cavan has long been neglected in terms of infrastructure, jobs and investment”.
“It has become clear to me that the Fianna Fáil that I joined no longer exists. There is a serious disconnect between Fianna Fáil members on the ground and the leadership of the party. Mícheál Martin and a number of senior Fianna Fáil TDs are now articulating views that are unrecognisable to grass root members”.
I have many friends within Fianna Fáil in Cavan and they are good people. I know some of them are also very uneasy with the departure of Fianna Fáil from core values. Currently I am experiencing difficulties within the organisation, however I want to thank the people who have supported me within Fianna Fáil for the help that they have given me and I wish them luck in the future.
I dearly want to continue fighting for Cavan and will do so as a councillor into the future. I will now join forces with the growing All Ireland Movement that is being built around the country by Peadar Tóibín TD and others. I will ask all those in Cavan who seek Irish Unity, Economic Justice and protection of the most vulnerable to join with me in challenging the growing group think in our country.