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Morris resigns from Sinn Fein amid bullying scandal

Thursday, 16 November 2017

SINN FEIN has been rocked in recent weeks by allegations of smear campaigns and bullying and the latest casualty of what appears to be a slow-motion implosion happening within the party ranks is one of their most high-profile and respected County Councillors - Tipperary's Seamie Morris.
Since being first elected after topping the poll on his first outing in the 2004 local elections, Seamie Morris earned great respect from all political quarters after playing a pivotal role rebuilding the Sinn Fein party from the ground up in North Tipperary.
His surname is one woven into the history of the Sinn Fein party, but that long history appears to have reached its final chapter after the popular Nenagh postman announced that after "a litany of bullying behaviour by some party members seeking to stymie honesty and transparency, I cannot continue to support or be a member of the Sinn Fein party."
He secured the first County Council seat for Sinn Fein in over 50 years in 2009 and has earned a reputation as one of the most outspoken local representatives in the region, but he has now decided to go it alone as an independent Councillor after resigning from Sinn Fein.
“I am resigning because adequate attention and party process has not been applied to my formal complaint to the Party in regard to a number of serious unfounded and untruthful allegations made by rogue elements in the party," he wrote in a statement announcing his resignation last week.
“These unaddressed allegations have had a desperate impact on my family and myself over the last number of months. Due process has not been followed to resolve the situation to a point now, where for the sake of my family and my own health I am leaving the party," he said.
In a responding statement Sinn Fein said there was no evidence of a smear campaign and that his resignation "came as no surprise".
In the summer of this year the first signs of trouble appeared, when Cllr Morris highlighted what he described as a "hostile environment" with the Tipperary Comhairle Ceanntair and that he was finding the situation stressful.
By September the situation had escalated considerably and Sinn Fein were faced with more allegations of bullying, when Limerick Councillor Lisa Marie Sheehy resigned from the party, prompting Councillor Morris to publicly state he had suffered "nine months of hell" working in an environment where "free speaking members" were not welcome, he said.
However, Cllr Morris' time in politics has not come to an end and he has confirmed he intends to continue political life with the same zealousness he is renowned for.
“I look forward to continuing to work hard on behalf of my constituents, and with the help of my supporters and family friends, will now renew my focus on striving as I have always done to do what I do best - working on behalf of the people who elected me and striving to get the best for my community.
“That means serving my constituents with the same vigour that I am well known for whether that is spotting opportunities for clubs and organisations to better themselves or enhancing the economic viability of the mid-west region," he said.
Closing his letter of resignation, Cllr. Morris said farewell with an air of positivity and wished his former Sinn Fein colleagues on Tipperary County Council the best into the future - remarking "they are fine advocates for their constituents."
Meanwhile, in the wake of Seamie Morris' departure from the party, Thurles based Sinn Fein County Councillor, David Doran, has announced he intends to run in the next general election.
Cllr Doran said the people of Tipperary want a Sinn Fein TD representing them in the Dail. He was first elected as Town Councillor in 2004 as was Councillor Morris. 

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