Irish Republican News · January 11, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Sinn Fein’s problems in Dublin mount

A third Sinn Fein councillor in Dublin has quit the party.

The resignation of Killian Forde is another blow to the party’s organisation in the capital, which has had a succession of personnel problems in recent years.

The party’s representation in Dublin city has now been cut from seven to four councillors within six months of the last local elections. In 2004, Sinn Fein elected ten members to the city council.

Mr Forde’s dramatic exit from the party came after a row with party colleagues on the council in which he blasted “sycophantism” in the Dublin grouping. The party responded by deriding him as a “careerist”.

The row and Mr Forde’s attack on his own party came from his decision as chairman of the finance committee on Dublin City Council to vote in favour of the council’s 2010 budget on December 21.

After a determined move into the political mainstream in the 26 Counties in recent years, the party has reversed course following a surge in support for left and radical-left organisation in last year’s local elections.

Mr Forde and his Sinn Fein colleagues disagreed after he voted in favour a budget he had helped to negotiatiate with the Labour Party.

His four party colleagues on the Sinn Fein benches had voted against a plan to introduce bin charges.

The s pilt led to Mr Forde launching an attack on the party.

“Sycophantism in anyorganisation is dangerous - n a political party it is cancerous,” he said .

“Sinn Fein over-value loyalty and obedience when there is a need to embrace criticism, debate and discussion.

“Flirting with Fianna Fail and assuming they [Sinn Fein] would be junior coalition partners was a massive error, one that was driven by the arrogance of having a dozen successive election successes and not welcoming alternative viewpoints,” Mr Forde said.

Dublin Sinn Fein chairman Eoin O Broin yesterday described the resignation as a disappointment.

But he said the Donaghmede councillor should resign his seat to allow a Sinn Fein co-option.

“Killian Forde was elected on a Sinn Fein policy platform and he should now do the honourable thing by those who elected him, by the pledge he signed prior to the election and immediately resign his seat to allow the co-option of a new Sinn Fein councillor for the Donaghmede ward.

“Killian Forde clearly has problems with this position and with the politics of Sinn Fein,” he said.

“It has become increasingly obvious that councillor Forde is in the wrong political party.”

Mr Forde announced today he had joined the Irish Labour Party.

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