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Senator wants FG ‘toxicity’ probed

May 9th, 2022 11:40 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Karen Coakley made allegations of bullying and intimidation against Fine Gael.

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THE Fine Gael board of trustees is to examine recent resignations from the party and the reasons why they left, following the shock departure of Cllr Karen Coakley from the party last week.

Cllr Coakley launched a scathing attack on her former party at the Cork South West agm, which was attended by Minister Simon Harris. In her resignation speech, Cllr Coakley spoke about the ‘toxicity’ in the party and claimed ‘bullying and skulduggery’ were at play. She also said former councillor, Katie Murphy, had been pressurised not to canvass for her when Karen was added to the FG ticket for general election 2020, alongside Sen Tim Lombard. Ms Murphy confirmed these claims to The Southern Star.

Senator Regina Doherty is now calling on the board of trustees to carry out a thorough investigation into Cllr Coakley’s resignation and other party defections in recent years. She is also calling for the party to tackle any claims of bullying.

Local Senator Tim Lombard said politics has turned into a ‘cesspit’ and that he would be ‘horrified’ if his two daughters ever decided to enter politics.

Former councillor Katie Murphy, who resigned her seat last November, said Cllr Coakley made a brilliant and brave decision leaving FG.

‘She and I have been through so much together since we both started our political endeavours in 2019 and she has stood up for me ever since,’ she said. ‘Cllr Coakley has done herself, her family and her voters proud by standing up to bullies and continuing to be an honest and hard-working county councillor.’

Meanwhile, party member Peter Walsh from Dunmanway tweeted that now is the time for a woman to lead FG. ‘Otherwise the party is doomed,’ he said.

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