*Finbarr MacGabhann and Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF). 

SINN FÉIN’s members are feeling aggrieved with the lack of consultation on the selection of candidates for the local elections.

For the June 7th elections, Sinn Féin is running a total of six candidates. It is the second election in a row that the party is fielding candidates in all of the five electoral areas in Co Clare.

Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) is joined by James Ryan (SF) in the Shannon Municipal District, Tommy Guilfoyle (SF) is garnering strong levels of support in the Ennis Municipal District while the trio of Martina Cleary (SF) in the Killaloe Municipal District, Dawn Bennett in the Kilrush local electoral area and Conor O’Sullivan (SF) have been added as candidates since the end of March.

Questioning of the processes followed by party officers have been raised by members since the announcement of Cleary as a candidate at the end of March. “No meetings were held with local members to get consensus before announcing candidates this is resulting in the membership deciding not to renew on large scale. What’s the point if they have no say on matters or who represents them,” one long-standing member told The Clare Echo.

Moves to add candidates in each area has been described as “box-ticking for the head office”.

As was first reported by The Clare Echo, Cleary announced her candidacy prior to the Munster Cúige of Sinn Féin issuing correspondence that they would be selecting one local election candidate in the Killaloe Municipal District and that it had to be a female candidate.

Following on from this, Noeleen Moran (SF) a former General and local election candidate for the party called for the resignation of Finbarr MacGabhann, he currently serves as Sinn Féin’s Cuige chair, Director of elections for the county, Membership officer, PRO and treasurer. This request led to the party issuing notification of a formal disciplinary investigation against the Ballyvaughan woman.

MacGabhann has been heavily involved in the Clare IPSC which holds weekly marches in Ennis every Saturday. He has been the point of contact with the media for the announcement of first-time candidates in Clare, Ryan, Cleary, Bennett and O’Sullivan. However repeated requests to get contact numbers for Bennett from The Clare Echo and later for O’Sullivan to carry out interviews on their candidacy were not provided by the official.

One disenfranchised Sinn Féin member told The Clare Echo, “There are a lot of decisions being made of late without any consensus from the membership”.

Previous correspondence from local chairpersons in East Clare and North Clare issued to the party leader, Mary Lou McDonald (SF) outlining concerns on selection procedures received no response or acknowledgement.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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