The brother of a former hunger striker has left Sinn Féin following a dispute within its south Derry branch.
Oliver Hughes and Patsy Groogan, both members of Magherafelt District Council, have left the party over what they said were “major domestic political differences in south Derry”.
Speaking yesterday Mr Hughes, a brother of hunger striker Francis Hughes, said neither he nor Mr Groogan were willing to make their problems public.
“Myself and councillor Groogan have left the party,” he said.
“We will still hold out seats on Magherafelt District Council and support the Sinn Féin group on the council whenever we see fit.”
“I would also like to make the point that we do not have any disagreement with the leadership of the republican movement.
“Our reasons for resigning are the result of major domestic political difficulties within the republican movement in south Derry.
“All sides have agreed that we would not debate our difficulties in public.”
Last month a meeting was due to take place in the area to discuss disillusionment among republicans about the Sinn Féin leadership and the direction of the peace process.
However, the meeting was cancelled at short notice.