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Taoiseach’s support within Fianna Fáil is “wafer thin” – MacSharry

Sligo-Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry has resigned from Fianna Fáil and become an Independent, citing complaints about the handling of a bullying complaint that was levelled against him.

The decision was made after a local Fianna Fáil councillor in MacSharry’s constituency, Donal Gilroy, claims that he was the victim of a verbal “WhatsApp attack” and “bullying” by the TD.

“It is my opinion that any TD who partakes in bullying of this nature should not only be excluded from the Parliamentary Party, but should also be expelled as a Party Member,” Gilroy wrote in a letter to the Fianna Fáil party whip and Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

“I ask that you investigate this bullying accusation and report back to me when it has received proper consideration.”

However, MacSharry, who spoke out strongly against the Covid lockdown while it was happening, has slammed the Taoiseach’s handling of the matter.

“I have today resigned my membership of the Fianna Fáil party,” he said.

“This has resulted from the failure of the Taoiseach as Leader of the party to allow a proper investigation of a recent complaint on a political issue made against me by a Fianna Fáil councillor in my constituency.

“This recent complaint related to exchanges between us over several months on services I have secured for Sligo University Hospital and their significance. It was a robust issue and robust language was used.”

However, MacSharry claims that rather than organising a local investigation into the dispute, the Taoiseach “used the complaint for political gain at national level” to prevent MacSharry’s readmission to the parliamentary party.

“He knows that I am critical of his performance as Taoiseach and his support within the parliamentary party is wafer thin,” the now-Independent TD said.

“My readmission would have been a problem for him, so he has used this complaint for his own purposes.”

MacSharry continued to say that the complaint against him was “highly-politically motivated” and hit out at what he was was the “unquestionably suspicious timing on the eve of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting for my re-admission.”

“It is an unwarranted attack on the contribution of me and my family to political life, with over 40 years’ service in the Oireachtas.”

MacSharry said that the whole handling of the incident was “unacceptable,” and that he would “continue to work as an independent member of Dáil Eireann to the very best of my ability on behalf of my constituency and our community.”

Gript has reached out to Councillor Donal Gilroy for comment, and will publish his response upon receipt.

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