Scully criticises FG over loss of whip

NAAS councillor Darren Scully has attacked Fine Gael for deciding he can no longer represent the party.

NAAS councillor Darren Scully has attacked Fine Gael for deciding he can no longer represent the party.

A registered letter delivered to his home from party headquarters early last week informed the politician that the party’s disciplinary committee had decided to remove the whip from him.

This means that although he is still a member of the party he no longer represents Fine Gael on Kildare County Council or Naas Town Council.

The controversy erupted in November when a storm of criticism followed comments made by Cllr. Scully to the effect that he would no longer represent black Africans.

The issue was first considered by Fine Gael’s national executive on December 14 and then referred to the party’s disciplinary committee for last week’s decision.

Cllr. Scully said that that he made the comment as Naas Mayor and apologised and resigned from this position within 24 hours adding it was “probably the fastest resignation in Irish political history.”

He told the Leader he is “very disappointed” with the party adding: “I apologised and retracted my statement. I resigned as Mayor of Naas and I have suffered a great deal of personal abuse from emails and phone calls and it has been very traumatic for my family.”

Cllr Scully noted that the African Council of Ireland had said “it was time to move on.”

He added most reasonable people would accept what the ACI said but fine Gael apparently decided “there was more punishment to be handed out.”

Cllr Scully has the right to appeal the decision but does not intend to go down this route

He also can apply to have the party whip restored to him.

“I have to consider my future because of the way I have been dealt with but I have made no decision about my membership of the party.”

He again confirmed he would remain as a member of both local authorities.

“I will continue as a councillor because we live in a democracy and this is what I was elected to do and the people will decide whether I should hold on to the seats at the next local elections.”

He also said he had not decided whether he would stand as an independent or as a party candidate at the next local elections, in June 2014.

Neither has he made any decision about whether to run in the General Election (he lost out to sitting TD Anthony Lawlor at the FG selection convention prior to the February 2011 general election).

The row also resulted in Cllr Scully being suspended from his job and he said he was legally precluded from making any comment about this.

It’s also understood he had made a statement to the gardai about the incident although it is not clear whether any prosecution may follow.