Political news

Sinn Féin calls on councillor to give back seat after resigning

Noeleen Reilly has resigned from Sinn Féin
Ed Carty, Press Association

Sinn Féin have demanded that a councillor hands back her seat after she resigned following a row over allegations of bullying and assault.

Noeleen Reilly, who serves on Dublin City Council, said she was quitting after the party hierarchy suspended her for six months over a bullying complaint she faced.

Ms Reilly, who represents the Ballymun and neighbouring areas, was disciplined by the Sinn Féin national executive at the weekend and then took to social media to claim she suffered an assault.

She also said she first complained of being a victim of bullying four years ago.

Dessie Ellis, TD in the Dublin North-West constituency, was censured by party chiefs for his involvement in the long-running dispute with Ms Reilly and apologised for public comments he made about his former party colleague.

After Ms Reilly announced her resignation, party bosses called on her to give up the council seat.

"The party is now requesting that she hands the Sinn Féin Dublin City Council seat back to the party. Sinn Féin will not tolerate bullying," the party said in a statement.

Ms Reilly said: "I have been the victim of an orchestrated bullying campaign by a number of people in Dublin Northwest."

She added: "Unfortunately I was just up against the wrong people and this was never a battle I was going to win.

"My treatment included physical assaults, verbal abuse, total isolation, smear campaigns, the list goes on.

"I was always told to keep these matters internal and I did so for four years hoping that justice would take place."

Ms Reilly has vowed to work on as a councillor.

Sinn Féin said she was told on numerous occasions to report allegations of assault to gardai.

Following Ms Reilly's resignation, Sinn Féin issued a statement claiming that she had orchestrated a "vicious bullying campaign against a fellow party councillor on social media."

The councillor in question, Cathleen Carney Boud, said: “Having been the victim of an orchestrated online bullying campaign I made a complaint to Sinn Féin against Councillor Noeleen Reilly who I believed to be behind the campaign. The complaint is supported by documentary evidence.

“I am happy with how the party dealt with my complaint and the outcome of the procedure. I now wish to continue my work as a councillor and won’t be commenting any further on this matter.”

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