Councillor becomes first Fine Gael casualty as Mahon fallout continues

The Mahon Report fallout claimed its first Fine Gael casualty after a party councillor resigned last night.

Dublin councillor Anne Devitt’s exit from the party came ahead of a Fine Gael disciplinary committee meeting tonight which will consider the future of the other two representatives cited in the report. However, Ms Devitt will continue to serve as a councillor.

Her departure comes in the wake of Fianna Fáil’s high-profile resignations.

Disgraced ex-taoiseach Bertie Ahern was delivering a speech in one of the most corrupt nations in the world yesterday after being essentially forced out of Fianna Fáil after the Mahon probe.

As a letter of resignation for Mr Ahern was delivered to Fianna Fáil, the former party leader was speaking at an investors’ forum in Nigeria, one of the most corrupt nations in the world, according to Transparency International.

Mr Ahern and former European commissioner Pádraig Flynn were among those who quit the party ahead of a vote this week to kick them out. Further resignations are expected.

Questions remained over Mr Flynn’s Brussels pension last night after it was confirmed the EU would examine the findings of the planning corruption probe.

The Ahern and Flynn letters are expected to spark further resignations ahead of the special party meeting on the Mahon Tribunal report on Friday. South Dublin councillor John Hannon also resigned yesterday.

The national executive meeting will consider a root-and-branch review of the party’s activities in Dublin Central, the former constituency of Mr Ahern, including the ownership of St Luke’s, his old office. The meeting will also vote on the expulsion of former councillors GV Wright and Don Lydon, as well as Finbar Hanrahan.

The fallout for Fianna Fáil came as Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed the Government would consider a ban on pensions for corrupt politicians. Any such move would be a constitutional issue and require a referendum, he said.

A three-day Dáil debate on Mahon will begin today, as will the disciplinary proceedings by Fine Gael. Any inquiry is likely to take several weeks.

One of the Fine Gael members cited by Mahon last night said she was considering a legal challenge.

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