Sinn Féin councillor Reilly quits in bullying row

By Shane Harrison
BBC NI Dublin correspondent

Image source, Facebook
Image caption,
Noeleen Reilly's resignation comes ahead of this weekend's conference that will see Mary Lou McDonald confirmed as Sinn Féin's new president

A Dublin Sinn Féin councillor has resigned after alleging an "orchestrated campaign of bullying" against her.

Noeleen Reilly said she brought the matter to the party's attention in 2014, but without success.

She alleges the behaviour by a number of people included "physical assaults, verbal abuse, total isolation" and smear campaigns.

Sinn Féin has now asked her to hand her seat back to the party.

Ms Reilly's resignation comes ahead of a special Sinn Féin conference at the weekend which will see Mary Lou McDonald confirmed as the new party president with Michelle O'Neill set to become vice-president.

Noeleen Reilly, who says she will remain as a councillor, was suspended from the party for 6 months over the weekend after she alleged she had been the victim of an assault by a person close to the local Sinn Féin politician and former IRA bomb-maker, Dessie Ellis.

She released images showing injuries which she claimed were the result of an attack.

She was not available for comment on Monday however.

Sinn Féin said the party's Ard Comhairle (executive) made the decision to suspend Ms Reilly for orchestrating a campaign against a fellow female party councillor on social media.

"Sinn Féin will not tolerate bullying," a spokesperson said.

"In relation to Councillor Reilly's allegation that she was assaulted, the party told Councillor Reilly on numerous occasions that she should report the alleged incident to An Garda Síochána (Irish police)."