Former General Election candidate and current Sinn Féin councillor and group leader Paul Hogan has refused to allow his name to be nominated to contest the Longford-Westmeath Sinn Féin convention to be held in the Longford Arms on Saturday, December 2.
Speaking last week, Cllr. Hogan said: “I have written to the General Secretary of Sinn Féin and Rúnaí um Thoghcháin to inform them that I will not be allowing my name to be nominated for the Sinn Féin convention on Saturday 2nd of December 2017.
“Having gone through the membership list, I am confident that I would have received the support of in excess of 53% of members who were attending the convention. The vast majority of members are good decent Republicans.
“However, I have highlighted a number of issues internally within Sinn Féin dating back some years. I am continuing to seek justice in this regard. I have also indicated that there is a significant cohort of listed members who should not be members of Sinn Féin. It would therefore be hypocritical of me to align myself with these individuals."
Hogan claimed earlier this year to have been the victim of an victim of "a spurious and unrelenting campaign of whispering and innuendo" by some Sinn Féin members.
Cllr Hogan claimed that Sinn Féin offered him no support in the last General Election, and that he has been intimidated, received a death threat, was subjected to an anonymous hate mail campaign, and had to appear before a Sinn Féin "kangaroo court" to deny allegations against him.
In response, Sinn Féin said that its National Investigations Committee dealt with Hogan's complaints properly. Hogan rejected this response and called for major reform on how the party deals with complaints, citing a culture of bullying within the republican party.
“I continue to have the unanimous support of the Costello/Hurson Cumann in Athlone and significant support from the membership throughout the two counties. I know there will be disappointment from my supporters on my refusal to allow my name to be nominated," said Cllr Hogan.
Cllr Hogan was initially elected as a town councillor back in 2004 at the tender age of 21. The Athlone native has contested the last two General Elections and seen his vote double during those years. He also contested the 2014 by-election.
“I want to sincerely thank the 7,824 people that voted for me in all preferences and across every part of Longford and Westmeath in the last General Election. I particularly want to thank my team and my supporters for all their help, guidance and assistance over nearly 15 years.
“I am continuing in my work as an elected representative on Westmeath County Council,” the councillor concluded.