Cork's FF deputy mayor considers future in party after rainbow flag row

Cork's FF deputy mayor considers future in party after rainbow flag row

Fianna Fáil is facing another internal spat after Cork's deputy Lord Mayor stormed out of an internal party meeting last night after being asked to explain why he wants a colleague disciplined.

Cllr Kenneth O'Flynn, who wants fellow councillor Terry Shannon sanctioned by party headquarters for calling for the removal of the LGBT rainbow flag from above City Hall earlier this month, was invited to attend a meeting with fellow Fianna Fáil councillors before last night's city council meeting.

He says he was then asked to explain why he had written to the party's general secretary requesting that Mr Shannon be brought before a Fianna Fáil disciplinary committee and sanctioned for his rainbow flag call.

Kenneth O'Flynn.

Speaking afterwards, Mr O'Flynn said he felt intimidated during the meeting and left the room.

Other councillors who witnessed the incident reported hearing Mr O'Flynn shouting the word "bully" as he left the room.

Mr O'Flynn said he is now seriously considering his future within the party.

The row is linked to comments Mr Shannon made two weeks ago after the launch of Cork LGBT week.

Cork's FF deputy mayor considers future in party after rainbow flag row

The rainbow flag, which was presented to the city by the mayor of San Francisco, was flown above City Hall as it was for last year's LGBT week.

But Mr Shannon, a close political ally of party leader Micheál Martin, sparked controversy when he called for the flag to be removed ahead of the same sex marriage referendum.

He cited fears that it could send out the "wrong message" before polling day.

Cork's FF deputy mayor considers future in party after rainbow flag rowTerry Shannon.

"If there was no referendum, I wouldn't have an issue. But I think on balance, it shouldn't be flying for the duration of a referendum," he said.

"If someone put up a No flag, I'd disagree with that as well.

"I believe as a corporate body, we should not have a flag like that hanging over City Hall while the referendum is on

"Either we put up two flags, or we take this one down."

It prompted Mr O'Flynn to write to the party's general secretary Sean Dorgan describing Mr Shannon's comments as "offensive and hurtful", and demanded the party take action.

While Mr Martin distanced himself from Mr Shannon's comments and said no disciplinary action would take place, and while party headquarters has declined to comment, it is understood that Mr O'Flynn's complaint has been referred to an internal party committee which will determine whether any action will be taken against Mr Shannon.


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