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  • Northside West

Bitter end to party row

Monday, 12th February, 2018 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Bitter end  to party row

Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis and Cllr Noeleen Reilly. FILE PHOTO

Bitter end  to party row

Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis and Cllr Noeleen Reilly. FILE PHOTO

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A NORTHSIDE councillor from Ballymun has resigned from Sinn Féin following a row involving claims and counter claims of bullying.

Cllr Noeleen Reilly was a member of the party for 17 years but a bitter dispute that began over four years ago has finally come to an acrimonious end.

Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis was also involved in the long-standing row and both politicians were sanctioned by the party at a recent Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle meeting.

Following the meeting, Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Declan Kearney, confirmed there had been ongoing issues within the Dublin North West constituency. 

“These have been examined by Sinn Féin, and the Ard Chomhairle has made a number of recommendations,” he said.

“Following a complaint from a fellow councillor, Cllr Noeleen Reilly has been suspended from the party for six months. 

“With regard to complaints by Cllr Noeleen Reilly about comments in the media by Dessie Ellis TD, he will be censured by the party.

“As per our party constitution, the people concerned can appeal these recommendations.”

Later, Cllr Cathleen Carney Boud (SF) confirmed she had made the complaints of a “vicious bullying campaign” on social media against her.

“I am happy with how the party dealt with my complaint and the outcome of the procedure,” she added.

“I now wish to continue my work as a councillor and won’t be commenting any further on this matter.”

After the Ard Chomhairle decision, Cllr Reilly took to social media and made her own serious allegations of bullying and assault. And on Monday, she officially declared she was leaving the party.

In a statement, she said the decisions at the Ard Comhairle had left her with little choice.

“I have been the victim of an orchestrated bullying campaign by a number of people in Dublin North West,” she claimed.

“I first went to the party in February 2014 over this bullying and have consistently done so to try and get it stopped.

“Every time I did so it was either ignored or an angle was found to blame me for their treatment.

“Unfortunately I was just up against the wrong people and this was never a battle I was going to win.” 

She further alleged: “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 at some time.”

Cllr Reilly has vowed to remain as a councillor, despite a Sinn Féin request for her to vacate what they believe is their seat to allow them to co-opt another party member onto the council.

“I will be remaining as a councillor and will continue to work hard for the people of Dublin North West,” Cllr Reilly said.

“I want to wish all the good people in Sinn Féin the best in the future and thank you for your support over the years.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Ellis has said he accepted the decision of the Ard Chomhairle and apologised for comments he made in the national media about Cllr Reilly.

"I now want to move on to represent the people of Dublin North West and to build the party locally,” he added.

Cllr Reilly was elected to Dublin City Council in the Ballymun ward in 2014 when she topped the poll with over 2,500 first preferences or 14.82 per cent of the vote.

She had just over 200 more votes than Cathleen Carney-Boud, who was then controversially selected as Dessie Ellis’s running mate for the 2016 General Election but failed to get a second seat for the party.

Dublin North West TD Dessie Ellis and Cllr Noeleen Reilly. FILE PHOTO

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