Roscommon-Galway TD Eugene Murphy accepts Paddy Kilduff’s resignation from Fianna Fáil is a big blow to the party.
The Lecarrow-based councillor has quit because he claims its top brass has no respect for its membership.
Kilduff has been a member of Fianna Fáil for the past 52 years and a councillor since 2004.
But he has had a strained relationship with the party since it censured him after a complaint party colleague Councillor John Keogh made against him over alleged inappropriate remarks made in October 2014.
Kilduff rejected the findings and denied the allegation.
In his resignation statement issued today, Councillor Kilduff claims the party has lost its way because the grassroots are no longer at the core of the organisation.
He claims it has been taken over by a cadre of unelected yet powerful administrators who manipulate the party structures, systems and rules to suit their own agenda and ideology.
The Lecarrow man claims this group has little or no respect for the membership of Fianna Fáil and claims members are now little more than fodder for membership fees, selling tickets, knocking on doors and putting up posters.
In his parting word, Kilduff calls on the grassroots to reassert their right to be heard above the off-stage noise of the mandarins who have assumed control of Fianna Fáil.
The 69-year-old will be an Independent councillor until the 2019 local elections, after which he will quit politics.
Fianna Fáil headquarters hasn’t responded to requests for comment, but Deputy Eugene Murphy accepts Kilduff’s departure is a big disappointment.