Fianna Fáil councillor who wanted Marc MacSharry out over ‘bullying’ claim had supported his return to party
4th November 2022
The Fianna Fáil councillor who called for Marc MacSharry to be forced out of Fianna Fáil supported a motion calling for him to be readmitted to the parliamentary party a month before he accused him of bullying.
Sligo county councillor John Gilroy attended a local Fianna Fáil meeting in September where a motion was unanimously passed proposing that Mr MacSharry should return to the parliamentary party.
However, just over a month later, Mr Gilroy sent a complaint to Fianna Fáil headquarters calling for plans for Mr MacSharry’s readmission to be abandoned and saying he should have his membership of the party stripped.
The meeting was held two months after Mr MacSharry sent the first message to a Fianna Fáil WhatsApp group which Mr Gilroy alleged was bullying.
Yesterday, speaking on Ocean FM, the councillor confirmed he attended the meeting at which the local membership supported Mr MacSharry’s return.
Mr Gilroy said the meeting was held before Mr MacSharry sent a second message to the local WhatsApp group complaining about comments the councillor made on the local radio station about cardiac services in Sligo University Hospital.
Mr Gilroy said he did not remember the first message he subsequently considered bullying when the motion was passed proposing Mr MacSharry’s return.
“The more offensive second text had not come in at that stage,” said Mr Gilroy.
“Quite simply, to be fair, I’d forgotten about the first one. I took it as a rant from someone having a bad day, and decided to send a text message or whatever.
“I don’t know what the reason for it was. I’ve gone through the three years of text messages and WhatsApps that are on that group text.
“Nobody, including Marc, used language like that before so it’s not normal political banter or normal political discourse.”
Mr Gilroy also suggested those proposing Mr MacSharry’s return to the party could have been using him to promoting their own aims.
“Was there an agenda to get him in as someone who could do the shouting for them? Maybe it was. Maybe they were using him,” he said.
The councillor also said on “mature reflection” the best way to handle the complaint was through Fianna Fáil headquarters rather than through the media as he had originally threatened when Mr MacSharry would not apologise to him.
In July, Mr MacSharry 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 resigned from Fianna Fáil and criticised Taoiseach Micheál Martin for his handling of Mr Gilroy’s complaint.