Councillor in bullying row: 'What I wanted at the very start was an apology'

Mr McSharry, the Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo/Leitrim, resigned from the party this week.
Councillor in bullying row: 'What I wanted at the very start was an apology'

A Fianna Fáil councillor at the centre of a bullying row claims that initially he just wanted an apology from Marc MacSharry.

Mr McSharry, the Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo/Leitrim, resigned from the party this week.

He quit after a row over the handling of a bullying complaint against him.

Mr MacSharry described the complaint made by Councillor Donal Gilroy as "highly politically motivated".

Cllr Gilroy had made the complaint after he claimed Mr MacSharry directed a number of abusive messages at him in a WhatsApp group chat.

Speaking on local radio station Ocean FM, Cllr Gilroy said the expletive messages directed at him were inappropriate.

"What I wanted at the very start was an apology, two words, 'I apologise', or 'I'm sorry', so that's the main thing I was looking for," he said.

"I didn’t get that," Cllr Gilroy said. "The first message — I'd let anyone go with one thing. The second one was just a step to far for me."

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath expressed disappointment at the departure of  MacSharry from the Fianna Fáil party.

"It is always a great disappointment when you lose a colleague from the party," he said.

Mr MacSharry had made his own decision to leave, he said, the party was committed to dealing with an issue that could have been resolved in a relatively straightforward manner. The party had been anxious to resolve the matter, but there were established procedures.

"We have to stand behind the procedures," he added.

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