Athlone based Senator, Gabrielle McFadden (FG ) has challenged Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald to stand up against bullying within her own party.
Senator McFadden’s call came following the latest resignation of a public representative from Sinn Féin in Galway in Senator Trevor Ó’Clochartaigh.
“Mary Lou is full of sound and fury when criticising others, but when it comes to supporting whistleblowers or opposing the bullies within her own party, her response is as hypocritical and cowardly as that of Gerry Adams," Senator McFadden said.
“Think back to how Máiría Cahill was smeared and undermined, how sex abusers were protected and victims vilified. Why have one in 10 of Sinn Féin’s councillors resigned from the party since the last local elections, most due to bullying? Others have had run-ins with the party hierarchy, as happened here in Longford-Westmeath. Think of former TD Sandra McLellan and now Trevor Ó’Clochartaigh, both of whom were victims of mistreatment of one sort or other.
“One or two people criticising a party might be seen as disaffected, but the litany of members of Sinn Féin resigning due to bullying or other forms of ruthless behaviour points to a fundamentally bigger problem in Sinn Féin. Their approach to dissent within the ranks hasn’t gone away you know.”
Senator McFadden accused deputy leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald of adopting a sneering and supercilious tone when faced with questions of bullying within the party rather than attempting to investigate such claims.
"She refuses to contemplate that anything could be wrong in Sinn Féin and continues to spin the line laid out by her handlers,” Senator McFadden commented.
“Deputy McDonald is seen as the most likely leader to take over from Adams. Will she now, as part of her campaign, commit to root out the bullying of public representatives and party members who don’t toe the Sinn Féin line? Will she condemn the mistreatment and intimidation of whistleblowers – or would that displease the Army Council too much and rule her out of contention to be leader? Mary Lou needs to show that she has something new to offer and that she is not just another puppet of the bully boys.”