A prominent Leitrim figure in Fine Gael has resigned from the party following celebrations from high ranking party members in Dublin Castle at the weekend when the Yes vote was announced as carried.
Vice Principal of Drumshanbo Vocational School, Sean Wynne was a Leitrim Fine Gael Official and Secretary of the Drumshanbo branch and the Ballinamore District Area. Mr Wynne joined Fine Gael in 1990 and ran as a local election candidate in 1991.
Mr Wynne campaigned for a No Vote in the referendum and believes it was much too serious an issue for such overt demonstrations following the announcement of the result.
He informed the party on Monday this week of his decision to resign. He told the Leitrim Observer, “A lot of people are unhappy about the celebrations by party leaders at the outcome of the referendum, it was a sensitive and very complex issue.” He commented that the 30% of the population who voted No deserve “respect.”
He said the party in Leitrim upheld Fine Gael's directive for it to be a matter of conscience for everyone. “The word referendum was not mentioned at any local party meetings,” he said.
Mr Wynne said there are other reasons for his resignation from the party too such as the removal of religion from education.
Sean told the paper he will not be looking at running as an Independent candidate but indicated there may be an opening for a new pro life party. This will be assessed shortly. He does hope to keep the pro life issue alive as “it is too big of an issue.”
Fine Gael Councillor John McCartin said Sean was a “very long term, loyal member and worker of the Fine Gael party. Sean did rewarding work with no gain for himself.” He added “We must respect his decision, the referendum was a divisive and emotional issue and the party must now reflect on how to unite the party again.”