Fianna Fáil in social media row

Pat Donnelly is the new Chairman of Longford Fianna Fail.
Angry Fianna Fáil members have been contacting the new Chairman of Longford Fianna Fáil to complain about the fact that the results of the election of two officers were publicised on social media at the Annual General Meeting on Friday night.

Angry Fianna Fáil members have been contacting the new Chairman of Longford Fianna Fáil to complain about the fact that the results of the election of two officers were publicised on social media at the Annual General Meeting on Friday night.

The positions of Chairman and Secretary were both contested on the night and Pat Donnelly emerged as the new chairman while Pat O’Rourke retained his position of secretary following a huge majority vote.

However, before delegates and members of the party were informed of the results, they appeared on Facebook, and were “inaccurate”, it has been claimed.

Speaking to the Leader on Monday, Mr Donnelly said he had received numerous phone calls about the situation.

“We have gotten very bad press over the past while,” said Mr Donnelly, adding that he informed those present the other night that there would be no more ‘dirty linen’ washed in public.

Yet within minutes of the election of officers, another saga for the organisation was unfolding.

“The results were up on Facebook at 23:01 and it was a very bad judgement,” Mr Donnelly continued.

“I have gotten numerous calls about it and to be honest with you, it was not the way to do business.

The results were not right either and that has fuelled the situation.”

The new chairman went on to say that members would no longer be permitted to “go off on a solo run” and that from now on, everything would go through him.

“The Comhairle Dáil ceantair will sanction everything for the media and that will be the way things are from now on,” Mr Donnelly fumed.

“There was 180 people in that room waiting for an announcement when the results appeared online, and it is not good enough. I’m concerned now that a meeting will have to be held in order to sort this mess out.”

Mr Donnelly said that while he appreciated that there were rumours of a split in the ranks, this was not the case.

However he did add, “there are a couple of p eople who have agendas all right”.

“Those people are causing disharmony,” he added, “but there is no split, I can tell you that.”

Meanwhile, secretary Pat O’Rourke said he wasn’t aware of any annoyance over proceedings at the AGM last weekend.

“I don’t know why people are surprised that the results were online, they were known at the AGM before that,” he said.

“I know there has been issues for Fianna Fáil over the past few weeks, but those issues are sorted now, and the focus now is on the General Election.”

Mr O’Rourke went on to say that a “clear message” was sent out by party members last Friday night and the priority now was to ensure a Fianna Fáil TD for Longford after the next election.

“We are united now in our focus for a TD, and the convention will take place in a few weeks time,” he concluded.

The new board includes - Honorary Presidents: Jimmy Coyle, Noel McGeeney, Tony Carberry, John Duffy, Benny Reid, Andy O’Dowd and Tom Donlon; Chairman: Pat Donnelly; Vice chairman: Emmet Duffy; Secretary: Pat O’Rourke; Assistant secretary: Tom Igoe; Treasurers: Eugene Caherly and Louise McEntire; PRO: Deniese O’Flaherty; Constituency Delegate: Joe Murphy; Director of Organisation: Johnny Lee; Youth Officer: To be elected by Ógra Fianna Fáil.