T.D. AND COUNCILLOR JUMP SHIP IN TURBULENT WEEK FOR MONAGHAN FINE GAEL

27 November 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Fine Gael in Co Monaghan has endured a week of considerable turbulence which has seen a sitting TD and the party’s longest serving local councillor both resign from the party.

Ballybay-based Deputy Sean Conlan announced on Tuesday he was resigning from FG and intended to run in the impending General Election as an Independent candidate.

Elected to the Dáil in 2011, Deputy Conlan has had a deteriorating relationship with his Parliamentary Party and Taoiseach Enda Kenny in recent years. He has been dogged by personal and political controversy that has seen him feature regularly in the national media, most recently over allegations of involvement in an assault incident in his family public house in Ballybay.

Deputy Conlan cited as a chief reason for his decision concerns over the Government’s attitude to the campaign being led by the Co Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee against plans by EirGrid to construct their controversial North-South Electricity Interconnector using overground infrastructure.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the party’s father figure on Monaghan Co Council, Hugh McElvaney, had used dramatically the occasion of Monday night’s public meeting on the EirGrid issue in Castleblayney to tender his own resignation from the party, handing over his membership card, in a gesture which was to assume retrospective irony, to Deputy Conlan.

Colr McElvaney said he had given his life to the FG party in Co Monaghan and made his decision with deep grief, but he felt that the people….

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