Cavan County Councillor Sarah O’Reilly has announced she will resigned her membership of Fianna Fáil. Cllr O’Reilly was co-opted onto the local authority in 2016 to fill the seat vacated by the election of Deputy Niamh Smith to Dáil Eireann.
She has represented the Bailieborough/ Cootehill area on Cavan County Council since. Speaking on her announcement to leave the party she said: “It's with great sadness that I announce my resignation today. I joined Fianna Fáil nearly 10 years ago as I sought to help make a difference for the people of County Cavan. Cavan has long been neglected in terms of infrastructure, jobs and investment.”
Cllr O'Reilly balmes a shift in the party's focus for her decision: “It has become clear to me that the Fianna Fáil that I joined no longer exists. There is a serious disconnect between Fianna Fáil members on the ground and the leadership of the party. Mícheál Martin and a number of senior Fianna Fáil TDs are now articulating views that are unrecognisable to grass root members.”
The Bailieborough councillor says she is still on good terms with the party: “I have many friends within Fianna Fáil in Cavan and they are good people. I know some of them are also very uneasy with the departure of Fianna Fáil from core values. Currently I am experiencing difficulties within the organisation, however I want to thank the people who have supported me within Fianna Fáil for the help that they have given me and I wish them luck in the future.”
She will continue in her role as a representative on the local authority: “I dearly want to continue fighting for Cavan and will do so as a councillor into the future. I will now join forces with the growing All Ireland Movement that is being built around the country by Peadar Tóibín TD and others. I will ask all those in Cavan who seek Irish Unity, Economic Justice and protection of the most vulnerable to join with me in challenging the growing group think in our country.”