27 November 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

…But TD slams party where “you will be punished” for speaking out


TUESDAY’S sudden announcement by Seán Conlan that he was resigning from Fine Gael has completed a major rearrangement of the party’s political landscape in Co Monaghan, coming as it did less than 24 hours after veteran local public representative Hughie McElvaney had also declared his resignation from FG ranks.

Deputy Conlan made his decision public on local radio on Tuesday, where he cited his opposition to the EirGrid’s North South Interconnector as his reason for parting ways with the party his father, John F Conlan had represented in Dáil Éireann for 18 years.

But he has also criticised the party for the way it dealt with him in relation to certain controversial issues, claiming that, “if you speak out in Fine Gael you will be punished”.

He confirmed that he intends to stand as an independent candidate in the General Election.

Pointing to his involvement with the anti-pylon campaign since 2010, he said he believed he would now be “unhindered and better able to represent and express the views of the people in an open and fearless manner”.

He said this had been “an extremely tough personal decision”, given his own and his father and grandfather’s long history with the party, but he felt it was the correct one. He would “always be Fine Gael at heart”, Deputy Conlan added.

In a follow-up statement, he said he had made it clear during his original announcement on Northern Sound that his decision was also because of “individuals within Fine Gael who were attacking me because of stances I took on various issues”.

He went on to point to his criticism on national television and radio at the time of “the behaviour of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather …


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