Northern Ireland: Councillor joins Socialist Party
SINN FEIN councillor Domhnall O Cobhthaigh has announced his resignation from the party at a press conference in order to join the Socialist Party to "build a cross-community opposition to the right-wing economic policies of the Assembly Executive".
Fermanagh councillor Domhnall O Cobhthaigh, who has served on the district council for the past two years, claimed he could no longer remain in Sinn Fein as it was now part of an Assembly Executive which is "implementing cuts, job losses and privatising public services".
Speaking in Belfast, Joe Higgins, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin, welcomed Domhnall's decision to join the Socialist Party: "The Socialist Party seeks to build a movement of working and unemployed people in Northern Ireland in Protestant and Catholic communities against the attacks on jobs, wages and services which are being pursued by big business and the parties in the Assembly.
"We warmly welcome Domhnall as a valuable member of the Socialist Party and look forward to building a genuine socialist alternative in Fermanagh for working people and youth."
Socialist Party member Jim Barbour of the Fire Brigades' Union, also welcomed Domhnall: "There is an urgent need to develop a cross-community, anti-sectarian political alternative for workers who are facing massive job losses and attacks on wages, terms and conditions. It is nothing short of a disgrace that while the banks are bailed out to the tune of billions, ordinary working people are paying the price for their crisis. Domhnall's decision today is a welcome development in building a socialist voice for workers.
"We are also working closely alongside our colleagues in Britain campaigning for a new mass party to represent working class people who have been long abandoned by New Labour."
Domhnall also stated that he has resigned his council seat. "Despite my happy experience in working with the communities of Erne West and Enniskillen in demanding improvements, I feel it would be indefensible to retain a council seat to which I have not been elected (I was co-opted to the seat in 2007). Therefore, I have decided to resign from my seat on Fermanagh District Council."