The Social Democrats said in a statement that it believes it was appropriate that Mr Hanley resign and said the authorities have been made aware of what has been alleged.

In a statement on Facebook, Mr Hanley said: “In the past 48 hours certain allegations have been made about me. These are very serious matters and will obviously take a considerable length of time to be investigated fully by the appropriate authorities. In these circumstances I believe that the correct thing for me to do is to resign my membership of Galway City Council. I don’t propose to make any further comment in relation to the matter.”

Mr Hanley did not deny the allegations in his statement.

The Social Democrats said: ““The party believes it is appropriate that Mr Hanley has resigned and these allegations are thoroughly investigated.”

While they said that the whip was removed when the party first learned of the allegations, Mr Hanley had only now resigned his membership.

“When the party first learned of allegations, the whip was removed from Mr Hanley and he has now resigned his membership of the Social Democrats,” the statement said. “The party notified the relevant statutory authorities charged with investigating these allegations as soon as it became aware of them. The party takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously and has at all times strictly adhered to our statutory obligations.”

Mr Hanley was elected in 2019 at the age of 23 to represent Galway City East.