Former Sinn Féin TD Violet-Anne Wynne has said she is “very disappointed” by the party’s reaction to her revelations about the way she was treated by grassroots members.
The first-time Clare TD resigned from the party last week, accusing after what she described as a campaign of “psychological warfare” against her.
She claimed the party was actively seeking for her to resign through "gas lighting measures", noting that the issues she encountered were mainly at grassroots level.
Deputy Wynne, who recently gave birth to her sixth child, said the party did not support her – noting that a prominent female member of the party had called her an ‘effing eejit’ for getting pregnant again.
She said her pregnancy had been used as a “further stick to beat me with” – and noted that she finally took the decision to leave after “battling with the party for many months”.
On The Hard Shoulder this evening, Deputy Wynne said she has been “very disappointed” by the party’s reaction since she left.
“There have been a number of different comments made about myself in the aftermath,” she said.
“TDs have commented to national newspapers for example anonymously – these are pubic representatives who are releasing statements on a weekly basis and for them not to put their name to these comments that I felt were insinuations trying to discredit me in some way.
“I am very disappointed to see that.”
She said party leadership barely acknowledged the birth of her child – something she believed sent a direct message to grassroots members that it was acceptable to treat her with “anything short of support and camaraderie”.
She said she felt personally let down by party Leader Mary Lou McDonald.
“For me, I have seen her as a role model and I suppose my hero in a lot of respects,” she said.
“You know, I really held herself in high regard so it was disappointing and you do kind of question I suppose why such a normal act of decency couldn’t have been taken and you are left wondering why.”
She said her own children have questioned why she was congratulated by members of other parties, such as the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, but not her own party leadership.
Deputy Wynne said she has been inundated with calls since leave the party – with a number of people reaching out to say they have had similar experiences.
She said Sinn Féin should “absolutely” look into how it is treating its female members.
She confirmed her plans to contest the next election as an independent TD.
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