Fianna Fáil members split over departure of Marc MacSharry
3rd November 2022
However, those who supported the Sligo TD in recent weeks have vented anger, saying neither side has come out well, suggesting Mr MacSharry had the support within the parliamentary party to have been readmitted in the coming weeks.
One TD who had supported Mr MacSharry said he was “very angry” about the resignation, claiming both sides were to blame.
Another TD said: “The people who pushed his case have been left embarrassed. I would say if it went to a vote in the parliamentary party, he would have won the vote, but that’s not going to happen now that he has resigned from the party.
So I would say that Micheál [Martin] is smiling from ear to ear, a thorn in his side is just after being pulled out, he can ignore him now as he is gone away.”
But another member of the party said the resignation and loss of the MacSharry name reflects poorly on the Taoiseach.
“To lose a MacSharry is not a good thing, regardless of what people might think of Marc, to lose that family name after 50 years is not a positive outcome.”
But they added: “If Marc had handled it differently he could have invoked a lot of sympathy.”
TDs also downplayed the texts sent by Mr MacSharry as “harmless”, with many saying they were surprised by the fact they had been interpreted as bullying.
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said: “We have received Marc MacSharry TD’s resignation from Fianna Fáil. We wish him well for the future. We strongly reject the assertions made by Deputy MacSharry in relation to the written complaint received by the party.”
Mr MacSharry resigned from the Fianna Fáil party on Wednesday. He had resigned the parliamentary party whip last year in the run-up to a vote of confidence in Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.
However, he remained adamant at the time he would not leave the party. Now, he said he was resigning due to a complaint made by a local Sligo councillor Donal Gilroy.
He said “robust” language had been used in his discussions with Mr Gilroy, but rejected the characterisation of these discussions as bullying.
The now independent TD accused the Taoiseach of using the issue for “political gain” by delaying a motion two weeks ago seeking to readmit Mr MacSharry to the parliamentary party.
“He knows I am critical of his performance as Taoiseach and his support in the parliamentary paper is wafer thin. My re-admittance would have been a problem for him so he has used this complaint for his own purposes.”
He said Mr Gilroy’s complaint was politically motivated and said the timing was “suspicious”.