Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan resigns from party

By Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner Political Editor

Fine Gael TD Sean Conlan announced his shock resignation from the Fine Gael party on radio this afternoon.

Mr Conlan announced his resignation from the party live on the Wider View Programme on Northern Sound radio.

Mr Conlan has said he resigned because people at the top in Fine Gael wouldn't listen to him on North South Interconnector, which is an issue of huge concern to local people.

A party spokesman told the Irish Examiner that he had no comment but it is understood Mr Conlan did not informed party bosses of his decision before he went on air. Mr Conlan is now expected to stand as an Independent candidate in the forthcoming General Election, and his departure will relieve party bosses of a selection candidate in the constituency.

Arts Minister Heather Humphreys and TD Joe O’Reilly are also looking to stand again, and there was little chance of the party retaining three seats in the election.

Earlier this week, Mr Conlan infuriated local party members over plans to hold a pre-election fundraising dinner while Fine Gael's national Superdraw is still ongoing.

A controversial figure, Mr Conlan has caused a number of headaches in recent times for Taoiseach Enda Kenny. In September, Mr Conlan was arrested in connection with an alleged assault in a pub.

He was questioned in relation to an alleged assault which took place in a pub in Ballybay, Co Monaghan, on August 23 this year.

A Garda spokesman confirmed Mr Conlan had presented himself at Castleblayney Garda station and was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act on Tuesday morning.

Mr Conlan, a TD for Cavan Monaghan was questioned in connection with the row which resulted in a man in his 20s being arrested.

His resignation from the party followed less than 24 hours after the departure of Hugh McElvaney, a long-standing councillor, who announced last night he was leaving Fine Gael amid a dispute over pylons.

Mr McElvaney resigned after criticising Taoiseach Enda Kenny as well as Ms Humphreys, and other ministers for abandoning Monaghan in relation to the interconnector.

READ MORE: Fine Gael Councillor quits over North-South Pylon Interconnector controversy

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