A Fine Gael minister has urged a local councilor who had quit the party over allegations of bullying to make a formal complaint.
Karen Coakley, councilor for est Cork, left the party last month, saying she “tolerates” bullying and doesn’t listen to voters.
She is the second Fine Gael councilor in the region to resign in the last six months after Katie Murphy resigned from Cork County Council last November.
The Minister for Further Education and Higher Education, Simon Harris, chaired the general meeting in Cork, where Cllr Coakley resigned, and urged them to make an official complaint.
“There must be absolutely no place, no place for bullying in any organization within Fine Gael. It cannot be tolerated, will not be tolerated. I really hope that a formal complaint is made because whoever bullied Cllr Coakley or anyone else has no right to be in this party.
“But obviously grievance procedures need to follow and I hope Cllr Coakley will make a formal grievance,” he said.
Secretary Harris said he held Cllr Coakley in “high regard” and said she was “an excellent public representative”.
“I really appreciate Karen, I’ve spoken to her since the AGM to show her the respect,” he said.
Ms Coakley claimed she was scammed in the run-up to the last general election after members of Fine Gael in the constituency organized a petition urging headquarters to nominate then-incumbent Garda Noel O’Donovan alongside Ms Coakley and Senator Tim in to record the ticket Lombard.
“I think they don’t listen to people. The party is out of touch with voters and not interested in change,” Ms Coakley said after her resignation.
“I have decided that my good name should no longer be associated with a party that tolerates bullying and does not listen to voters.
“If I worked in an industry and such behavior, including bullying, character assassination and defamation, continued, those responsible would be brought to justice and there would be enormous consequences.”
A Fine Gael spokesman said last month that there had been significant collaboration with Cllr Coakley.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/it-cannot-be-tolerated-simon-harris-calls-on-councillor-who-left-fine-gael-alleging-bullying-to-make-formal-complaint-41614838.html ‘It cannot be tolerated’ – Simon Harris is urging the councillor, which left Fine Gael over bullying, to make a formal complaint