File photo: Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy
The future of Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy’s position within the Fine Gael party remains up in the air this week as she refuses to rejoin the party grouping in the council even though her term of suspension has ended.
The county councillor has said that even though she is entitled from this week onwards to apply to rejoin the Fine Gael grouping in the County Council, she will not do so until the results of a party investigation she called for into the actions of some of her Fine Gael colleagues are presented to her.
The councillor and former general election candidate had the party whip removed from her on November 22 last following an internal party disciplinary procedure.
This followed a motion of no confidence she had tabled in the then Mayor Brendan Weld.
Her term of suspension was six months, which means that she is now entitled to rejoin the grouping as of yesterday, May 22.
However, she has told the Leinster Leader that she will not be doing so until an investigation she called for into the actions of some of her party colleagues is complete and the results presented to her.
The controversy kicked off after she came to believe that Cllr Brendan Weld had held a meeting with councillors from other parties to discuss ways of blocking her motions.
For his part, Cllr Weld has always maintained that the focus of the meeting was to discuss ways of improving the general flow of business of the council and that she was not, specifically, a target, of the action. “How the party proceeds with my complaints and whether they treat all complaints equally and with the same due process will impact on my decision to re-apply for the Whip,” she said.
“I have always intended to give the party every opportunity to deal with the issues I have complained of.”
However, it appears the party is slow to respond to her request for an investigation.
The county councillor says that the party’s General Secretary Tom Curran has been in contact with her, seeking information on the background to her complaints.
“James Reilly advised at my appeal hearing that mediation (between the two sides) had to happen irrespective of the outcome of the appeal.
“No overtures have been made in that regard.”
She told the Leader yesterday that Mr Curran had “communicated at end of January that my complaint had been referred by the Executive Council to the Disciplinary Committee who were putting together background information and when gathered they would decide what appropriate steps to take”.
“I asked for an update in April and have yet to receive a response,” she added.