EXCLUSIVE: Sinn Féin councillor Branley resigns from party

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Ballyshannon Town Councillor Rosaleen Branley has resigned from the Sinn Féin party with effect from this morning. She will continue her work as a Town Councillor but as an Independent.

Ballyshannon Town Councillor Rosaleen Branley has resigned from the Sinn Féin party with effect from this morning. She will continue her work as a Town Councillor but as an Independent.

On foot of an alleged assault court case in October where she was found not guilty, Sinn Féin initiated an investigation into comments made during that court case by a District Judge - although Sinn Féin were loathe at the time to comment on the exact nature of their investigation. It’s now thought Cllr. Branley has lost her patience with the party and has resigned, although her statement points more to issues with her as a “female voice” not being “treated seriously”

In a statement issued exclusively yesterday, Wednesday, to this newspaper, she told the Donegal Democrat:

“I am resigning from the party with effect from tomorrow, Thursday, January 19th.

“On the sad passing of my late father, Cllr. PJ Branley, I was approached by the local Sinn Féin party to carry on the work that my father had diligently carried out on behalf of the people of Ballyshannon.

“After consultations with my family and friends, I decided to let my name go forward.

“In the following election, the people of Ballyshannon came out and gave tremendous support to myself personally, and also to my family. Subsequently, I received 247 votes, and topped the poll on the first count.

“It soon became evident that a female voice in Ballyshannon was not treated to seriously and divisions appeared - in our party of equals!!!”

“In the following election, the people of Ballyshannon came out and gave tremendous support to myself personally, and also to my family. Subsequently, I received 247 votes, and topped the poll on the first count.

“It soon became evident that a female voice in Ballyshannon was not treated to seriously and divisions appeared - in our party of equals!!!”

The party suspended Cllr. Branley in October pending an investigation, after she was involved in a court cause where an assault charge against her was dismissed. She has not been reinstated and a party spokesperson said earlier this week that the investigation is still ongoing.

Cllr. Branley refused to comment on whether this influenced her decision to resign. Asked was her resignation decision linked directly to the three month long investigation by Sinn Féin, she responded: “No comment”. She said that she would not be making any further comment on the matter in future and asked for her privacy to be respected.

Her resignation means that Sinn Féin are now without a representative on Ballyshannon Town Council. Fine Gael have five seats, Fianna Fáil two and there are two Independents on the council now.