Fermanagh Councillor resigns from Sinn Féin

Fermanagh District Councillor Bernice Swift has resigned from Sinn Féin and intends to remain on the council as an independent. She told David Dunseith on Talkback that it wasn’t as a result of her views on policing per se, although she did refer to the party supporting a “corrupt and failed British policing model”, but due to her “unconstitutional suspension” and that, in comparison with Strabane Sinn Féin councillors who were not sanctioned, she had been “treated differently” and that there was a “discriminatory element” in that treatment. Fermanagh Sinn Féin Councillor Domhnall O’Cobhtaigh, speaking on the programme, called on Bernice Swift to resign her council seat claiming that the people had elected Sinn Féin candidates.. Bernice Swift responded by pointing out that Mr O’Cobhtaigh had been co-opted onto the council.. From the Fermanagh Herald report Adds Brief BBC report.

“I considered my position within Sinn Féin at the time”, she went on, ” but, in light of the appeal by Gerry Adams and others for unity and for those who were opposed to involvement with British policing to remain within the Party, I believed there was still a place for divergent opinion. “I argued rationally on a point of principle with the aim of representing fully the sentiments of my electorate in delivering on a shared Republican vision. She went on: “Unfair as my suspension has been, the ensuing disciplinary processes to which I was subjected breached natural justice and Sinn Féin’s own rules and procedures. “When considering the detail of the complaint made against me, there is an interesting contrast with the five male Sinn Féin Councillors in Strabane who publicly refused to sit on the DPP. “My five colleagues went unsanctioned by the Party and were quickly welcomed back into Sinn Féin structures”.