Fianna Fáil’s Comhairle Dáil Ceantair (CDC) chairman Noel Conway has sensationally stepped down from his role, writes Liam Cosgrove.
Mr Conway announced the news following an adjourned annual general meeting of the party in the Longford Arms last Thursday night.
In a statement to the Leader on Tuesday, Mr Conway refused to go into any specifics as to what prompted his decision.
“Yesterday (Monday), I informed party officials nationally and locally that I was resigning as chair with immediate effect.
“I have outlined my reasons to party officials for my resignation. As the post of party chairman is an internal party position, my reasons for resigning will remain within the party and I will not be going public with them.”
The Leader understands Mr Conway’s decision to step down stemmed from a development at last Thursday’s Fianna Fail CDC AGM.
The AGM had been scheduled to take place on September 18, but following the death of the late Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, it was decided to defer the AGM until last Thursday as a mark of respect.
A large crowd turned up at last week’s meeting where a vote on new officers was due to take place. However at the start of the meeting a number of members sought an adjournment in memory of Albert Reynolds and this proved extremely contentious.
In the end, the meeting did not go ahead.
However the matter took an unexpected twist on Monday when Mr Conway resigned as Chairman by email.
Speaking to the Longford Leader on Tuesday, Mr Conway refused to discuss the email he had sent to party colleagues but confirmed his resignation.
A statement from the party yesterday morning (Tuesday) said they were stunned by Mr Conway’s decision, but thanked him for his time in office.
“The Officer Board of Longford Fianna Fáil CDC are shocked and saddened by the sudden resignation of chairman Noel Conway,” it read.
“During his time as chairman Noel worked tirelessly and made an outstanding contribution to the party.
“This year he oversaw a successful local election campaign where Fianna Fáil took control of Longford County Council for the first time in 15 years.
Mr Conway, meanwhile, added he intended to remain on as an active party member and would now be helping the party focus its sights on the 2016 general election.