Cllr Paul Hogan has announced his decision to rescind his membership from Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin has said it was not taken aback by Cllr Paul Hogan's decision to resign from the party on Monday, claiming the former Longford-Westmeath general election candidate had been operating as a de-facto independent councillor for some time.
Cllr Hogan said he was quitting the party on Monday, citing "an unrelenting bullying campaign" as one of the main factors behind his decision.
The Leader reached out to Sinn Féin chiefs on foot to those claims with a party spokesperson insisting the news had not been entirely unexpected.
“Today’s (Monday) announcement from Paul Hogan that he is to leave Sinn Féin will come as little surprise, as he has been in conflict with the party locally and was operating as a de-facto independent councillor for some time now.
“This is despite the fact that the party made every effort to resolve the issues in the area.
“Last year, the party locally selected an alternative candidate to fight the constituency at the next General Election. That has been the focus of the vast majority of members in Longford/Westmeath since then.”
Cllr Hogan, a former Athlone Mayor and member of Sinn Féín for the past two decades claimed attempts would be made to try and gloss over many of his allegations.
“The party will attempt to pigeon-hole this hate campaign against me as a localised dispute.
“All of the evidence that I have suggests otherwise,” he added.