Kildare councillor Fiona McLoughlin Healy resigns from Fine Gael

Cites failure by party to meaningfully address a formal complaint she made

Conor McHugh

Reporter:

Conor McHugh

Email:

conor@leinsterleader.ie

Fiona McLoughlin Healy resigns from Fine Gael

Cllr McLoughlin Healy has resigned from FG

Fiona McLoughlin Healy has announced her resignation from Fine Gael. The county councillor and former general election candidate has been estranged from the party for some time having been suspended for a period of six months from it following internal disputes.

In a lengthy posting on Facebook, accompanied by a video, she blamed a failure by the party to “address, in any meaningful way, a formal complaint about persistent attempts by Fine Gael Party members to silence, harass and undermine me.”

She pointed out that "when FG pursued me to run for them in the local elections in 2014, with a view to also running in the general election 2016, I asked for and received assurances that the sitting T.D. and grass roots membership in Kildare were absolutely supportive of me running for the party,” she says in her statement.

“Before agreeing to run, I sought and received assurances that the FG Party was fully supportive of my views about new politics and about standards in public office. Soon after I was elected to Kildare County Council, FG councillors attempted to block my nomination to the board of the Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board; a board which is now the subject of investigation by the Department of Education and the Comptroller and Auditor General.”

Her statement also refers to a complaint that she made and the deficiencies in the investigation of that complaint and its outcome.

Her complaint alleged harassment and suggested that FG councillors were attempting to collude with others to block her motions being heard in Kildare County Council.

“My complaint had not been progressed, while on the other hand the Party had removed the whip from me for six months for speaking out about the behaviour and actions of one of my fellow councillors.”

“In 2016, Fine Gael’s Disciplinary Committee fully investigated an internal issue in a timely manner and decided to remove the party whip from Councillor McLoughlin Healy for six months,” a statement issued by Fine Gael this morning revealed. “The party’s Executive Council subsequently considered an appeal but rejected it.

“Fine Gael thanks Councillor McLoughlin Healy for her work and wishes her well in the future. The party will not be issuing any further comment on this.”

Fine Gael's senior member on Kildare County Council Cllr Brendan Weld said "The best of luck to her".

Cllr McLoughlin Healy's resignation video posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts

Cllr McLoughlin Healy’s statement concludes that she is “looking forward to this final year of my term of office in Kildare County Council and to what might yet be achieved. On a positive note, freed from the burden of attempting to seek justice and change from within the FG party, I am excited to refocus energies into new projects, including a soon-to-be launched virtual anti-corruption hub.”

And she thanks her family, friends and my supporters “for your enduring support and loyalty particularly during the most difficult times”.

Read more: Fine Gael suspend Fiona McLoughlin Healy

Read more: Kildare councillor slams Fine Gael "old boys' club" comments