‘no option’ |
Fianna Fáil cllr threatened to release Marc MacSharry’s messages to media if he did not apologise
Fianna Fáil councillor Donal Gilroy made a bullying complaint against Marc MacSharry
2nd November 2022
The Fianna Fáil councillor who made a bullying complaint against Marc MacSharry threatened to release the TD’s expletive text messages to the media if he did not apologise for his comments.
Sligo County Councillor Donal Gilroy said he was left with “no option” but to contact Fianna Fáil headquarters when Mr MacSharry would not apologise for comments he made in a WhatsApp group for local representatives.
Speaking to the Sunday World, Mr Gilroy said he contacted Mr MacSharry’s cousin Tom, who also has a Sligo County Council seat, saying he felt bullied by the TD and would contact their local radio station if the TD did not apologise for the comments.
“Marc was aware that I felt bullied and he still wouldn’t apologise and I felt I had no alternative other than to either go to media or go through the party procedures so instead of using a megaphone I went through the proper party procedures,” the councillor said.
In a text message released by Mr Gilroy, Tom McSharry tells him that “going to the media is a bad idea”.
“I did put Marc on notice that this is your intention and that you feel bullied,” he added.
Mr Gilroy said he dismissed as “just a rant” a message sent into the group by Mr MacSharry in July which related to comments the councillor made on his local radio station regarding cardiology services in Sligo.
However, when a subsequent radio appearance in October led to another message from the local TD, he decided to seek an apology from Mr MacSharry.
When the apology was not forthcoming, Mr Gilroy contacted Fianna Fáil headquarters to complain about what he described as bullying behaviour and called for Mr MacSharry’s readmittance to the parliamentary party to be stopped. Mr Gilroy also told the party he believed Mr MacSharry should be removed from the party entirely.
The councillor said the “timing of the complaint was entirely dictated” by Mr MacSharry’s text messages and said it had nothing to do with the Fianna Fáil leadership.
In July, Mr MacSharry sharply criticised Mr Gilroy for comments he made on Ocean FM about the TD’s efforts to secure additional cardiology services for their local hospital.
“Nothing like trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” Mr MacSharry wrote into the Fianna Fáil WhatsApp group.
“Ye fairly tried to f**k me there pouring water all over it, praising (Fine Gael minister Frank) Feighan and the others. It would sicken yer hole. Good man best of luck,” he added.
On October 3, when Mr Gilroy again discussed the cath lab on his local radio station, Mr MacSharry questioned his motives.
“Donal. What the f**k?? Again Ocean (FM) this morning on cardiology services. For f**k sake, to what end???.” he said.
Mr MacSharry urged him to speak to cardiologists and hospital management in Sligo University Hospital, who he said were happy with progress being made on securing extra services.
“Regional Health Forum/(retracted) or whomever loading gun are clearly a distance behind the curve but sure keep it up as I said before, ‘nothing like snatching deaf from The jaws of victory,’” he added.
Mr MacSharry resigned from Fianna Fáil and criticised Taoiseach Micheál Martin for his handling of Mr Gilroy’s complaint.
He accused the Fianna Fáil leader of using the complaint to delay his re-entry into the parliamentary party. Mr Martin issued a statement saying he strongly regrets the claims made by his former deputy.