Social Democrats Councillor resigns seat over ‘very serious’ allegations
- Published: 17:20, 4 Jan 2023
- Updated: 17:21, 4 Jan 2023
A COUNCILLOR has resigned from Galway City Council after “very serious” allegations were made against him online.
Social Democrat Owen Hanley, 26, quit his seat on Galway City Council.
He stepped down after claims were made about him Twitter on New Year’s Day.
In a Facebook post, Hanley said: “In the past 48 hours certain allegations have been made about me.
“These are very serious matters and will obviously take a considerable length of time to be investigated fully by the appropriate authorities.
“In these circumstances I believe that the correct thing for me to do is to resign my members of Galway City Council.
“I don’t propose to make any further comment in relation to the matter.”
It’s understood the allegations first emerged against Hanley last year.
The Social Democrats said they notified the “relevant statutory authorities” about the claims.
Allegations against the representative first emerged last year but this is the first time Hanley has addressed the matters.
A Social Democrats spokesman said: “Owen Hanley has resigned from Galway City Council after certain allegations were made on social media in recent days.
“The Party believes it is appropriate that Mr Hanley has resigned and these allegations are thoroughly investigated.
“When the Party first learned of allegations, the whip was removed from Mr Hanley and he has now resigned his membership of the Social Democrats.”
Hanley was elected in Galway East in 2019.
He became the youngest sitting city councillor at just 23 as well as the council’s first openly LGBT+ representative.
It was the Social Democrats’ first seat ever on Galway City Council.
In his time on the council, Hanley has been vocal on environmental and public safety issues, and he has also been supportive of initiatives to increase the availability and effectiveness of public transport.