Curran splits from party
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
BRENDAN Curran has left Sinn Féin.
The Democrat can exclusively reveal that the Newry Town councillor has handed in his resignation.
Curran has been a high profile representative of Sinn Féin since he helped found the Newry branch more than three decades ago. His election in 1985 saw him become the party's first councillor within the district for 75 years and he went on to also become its first council chairperson. Today he is the district's longest standing elected representative.
But a sense of slowly mounting discontent he was feeling came to a head after Sinn Féin Newry last week issued a press release on behalf of its council candidate Liz Kimmins, in which she referred to her "Sinn Féin colleagues, councillors Valerie Harte and Charlie Casey" - failing to include Councillor Curran.
Perceiving this to have been a deliberate snub, Councillor Curran has now confirmed his "difficult and distressing decision" to walk away from Sinn Féin.
“Despite monumental attempts to repair and resolve the serious fractures within Newry Sinn Fein by our six county leadership, myself, and numerous Newry members, I feel that the recent statement and covert attack in the local newspaper by the new Newry candidate Liz Kimmins, in which she excluded me as her Sinn Fein colleague sets the tone for the future of the local organisation," he said.
“As a result of substantial complaints and general unease since the last local election, there were many leadership efforts and changes introduced to remove the destructive effects of a small elitist clique within the Newry organisation, but to no avail.
“So it is with great loss and sadness that, after 33 years, I will no longer remain within the local Sinn Fein structures.
“While I will no longer remain as a Sinn Fein councillor, I fully support the Sinn Fein leadership and I will continue to represent the people who elected me in a non-party affiliated designation."
In a statement, Sinn Féin Newry said it regrets, but accepts, Councillor Curran's decision. "Brendan Curran is a long-standing councillor of over 30 years and has to be commended for his steadfast representation of constituents and his commitment to the promotion of republicanism throughout that period," the statement said.
“We regret his decision to resign from the party. We are disappointed by and refute his comments about the local party leadership and candidates. Our membership in Newry has been growing over the past number of years and continues to grow.
“Unfortunately Brendan has chosen not to be part of our efforts to build the party and support for our political objectives in the time ahead. And, while we regret his decision, we wish him well for the future."
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