Fianna Fáil HQ will decide in the coming weeks whether or not to reconvene the AGM of Roscommon/Galway FF after a row erupted over a decision to allow Boyle delegates to vote.
A formal complaint was made to Fianna Fáil HQ in Dublin in the wake of the controversial meeting. There is some speculation that the AGM may now have to be reconvened, with a new election of officers being held. Another train of thought is that HQ will deem the AGM to have been legitimate.
The controversy is centred on the decision, taken at the AGM, to allow Boyle Fianna Fáil delegates to vote on the night. The view was expressed at the meeting – and subsequently to party HQ – that Boyle delegates should no longer have a vote at Roscommon Comhairle Dáil Ceantair level because Boyle has been transferred into the Sligo/Leitrim constituency (as part of a Boundary Review).
The AGM of the Fianna Fáil Comhairle Dáil Ceantair (CDC) was held on Thursday, August 23rd last in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon.
The meeting was attended by in the region of 70 members.
Tensions arose when the meeting moved to fill officer positions for the coming year.
It had been understood that outgoing chairperson Tom Leech would not seek re-election. However, on the night, Mr. Leech indicated that he would contest the position.
Noting the presence of a Boyle contingent, Mr. Leech objected to those delegates having a vote on the night (in light of the transfer of Boyle from Roscommon into Sligo/Leitrim).
Deputy Eugene Murphy, in the chair at that point in proceedings, put Mr. Leech’s point to the floor and a discussion ensued. Members decided to allow the Boyle delegates to have a vote.
P. Burke then defeated Tom Leech by 50 votes to 16 and was duly elected chairperson. Further officer positions were then filled.
Critics of the decision to allow the Boyle delegates to vote say it flies in the face of party rules and that the Boyle delegates were granted a vote on the night purely to ensure that a new-look ‘officer board’ was elected.
A source told the Roscommon People that some delegates now want the AGM to be reconvened.
“The rules have been broken…our view is that the AGM will be rescheduled, the officers will have to stand down and a new vote (to fill officer positions) will be held”.
The latest issue of Phoenix magazine described the episode as a move by Deputy Eugene Murphy to “bolster himself” against party HQ and “any disloyal elements in his constituency organisation”. The TD had, the magazine suggested, “purged” the officer board of the old guard and moved “his own people” into the key officer positions.
A spokesperson for the Fianna Fáil Press Office confirmed to the Roscommon People that a complaint (about the handling of the Boyle issue) has been received by HQ.
The spokesperson said that the party is
currently examining that complaint and hopes to address the matter in the coming weeks.