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Tipp Sinn Fein spat ends in shock expulsion

Thursday, 22 June 2017

AN INTERNAL RIFT within the ranks of Sinn Féin in Tipperary has resulted in the surprising expulsion of one of the party's most popular local representatives from the north of the county.

Councillor Seamie Morris from Nenagh has worked with Sinn Féin for over 13 years and was told by the Tipperary branch he would be "better affiliated with a neighbouring county" when they issued a statement on Tuesday announcing they are severing ties with him.

Tipperary Sinn Fein members passed a motion of no confidence in Cllr Morris at a meeting of the Comhairle Ceantair Tiobraid Árann last week and in their subsequent statement hinted problems had been simmering for some time within the party.

"Comhairle Ceantair Sinn Féin, Tiobraid Árann, after nine months of trying to resolve our difficulties with you [Séamie Morris] without success, with the support of the membership has decided you would be better affiliated with a neighbouring county. A vote has been taken by the membership to expel you from Tipperary Sinn Féin," the motion said.

The contents of a similar motion were previously conveyed informally to councillor Morris, but he chose not to respond to what the party described as "the genuine and honest concerns of the membership."

Official notice of the motion was sent to Councillor Morris by registered post after the Tipperary party membership held a vote at the Comhairle Ceantair on June 14th.

"The Comhairle Ceantair has expressed it's deep disappointment that councillor Morris has chosen not to make himself amenable to the members despite continued efforts on their part," their statement ends.

Speaking on local radio in the wake of the unexpected announcement on Tuesday, councillor Morris said he believes a "rogue element" within Tipperary Sinn Féin is behind efforts to have him expelled from the Comhairle Ceantair.

Cllr Morris said he feels he has no case to answer and that he has been persecuted for almost a year - circumstances which he says are having a very detrimental effect on his personal and family life.

"This is having a devastating effect on my family. They have tried several times to leak stuff to the press about me, stuff that is highly contentious and very slanderous. There is a rogue element after taking over Sinn Féin in Tipperary," he said.

Responding to accusations from the party that he has failed to regularly attend party meetings, councillor Morris said "they moved the Comhairle Ceantair meetings to Friday mornings in Cashel, knowing well I can't make them, because at the end of the day I'm a postman.

"Other councillors have asked them to move the meetings around the county so that people can make it to them," he added.

"I'm the head of my family and I have to protect what's in the four walls of our home. I haven't even told my kids about this yet and I told the Comhairle Ceantair that this is having a devastating effect on my family.

"I know that the Comhairle Ceantair are operating outside the wishes and the goodwill of the party. They tried this a couple of months ago when they sent a motion to head office and they kicked it back down to them and they were told they have no business in doing this," councillor Morris said.

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