Stephen Donnelly admits Dáil sessions with former party colleagues are "awkward"

He quit the Social Democrats earlier this week

Stephen Donnelly admits Dáil sessions with former party colleagues are "awkward"

The Social Democrats launch in Wood Quay, Dublin | Image:

Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly has said he has not spoken to his former party colleagues since he left the Social Democrats on Monday.

Mr Donnelly quit the party earlier this week, saying "some partnerships, in every walk of life, simply don't work".

In response to his move, the party's co-leaders said in a statement: "The levels of dedication required for such a major undertaking can be overwhelming for some."

Speaking today, Mr Donnelly denied that he was "work shy" while in the party, hitting out at suggestions made by his former colleagues.

"If they were going to have a go, you think they would have picked something with a little more credibility.

"It was a tough week for everybody, they obviously felt they had to say something - they did, I think it was disappointing."

Social Democtrats TDs Stephen Donnelly, Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shortall founded the party in 2015 | Image:

But he also admitted the relationship with them is awkward.

"We had quite a somewhat awkward session in the Dáil...where the three of us were all in there - cause we're still in the same technical group.

"Life moves on, and there are more important things I think than the soap opera of politics."

The move has fuelled speculation that Mr Donnelly may join another party, and he told Newstalk's Jonathan Healy: "I've had a few texts from friends of mine in some of the other political parties.

"I have taken soundings, I will continue to take soundings both in Leinster House and - more importantly - here in Wicklow."