Councillor loses party whip following ‘Sharia Law’ remarks

by Shane Dillon
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A FINE Gael councillor has been kicked off the council for his controversial tweets about Sharia Law.

Former councillor Brian Murphy, who represented the Dundrum electoral area, has lost the party whip following a disciplinary hearing over his tweets, which led to him being distanced by many FG party members, including the Taoiseach.

In September, the 25-year-old accountant tweeted: “Sharia Law is operating in Ireland and most of the political class either do not know or do not care. It is a subversion of our legal system.”

Another of his tweets (both pictured) read: “Future generations of Europeans will inherit countries more divided, more dangerous and packed full of terrorists. They have been betrayed.”

Speaking at the time, Leo Varadkar said that Mr Murphy’s views “do not represent the policies, views or values of the Fine Gael party.”

The Fine Gael whip has been removed from Mr Murphy for a year. This means that he is no longer regarded as a Fine Gael councillor. However, he remains a member of the party.

It means he will not represent Fine Gael on the council, or any of its committees, cannot describe himself as a Fine Gael councillor, cannot use the Fine Gael logo on material.

The move has been welcomed by Mr Murphy’s party and constituency colleagues, Deputy Josepha Madigan and Senator Neale Richmond.

Senator Richmond said: “I note and welcome the decision taken by the Executive Council of Fine Gael, the comments made by Brian were simply unacceptable and inaccurate. I wish him well for the coming period and I will continue to work hard for the people of Dundrum and our wider community.”

Deputy Madigan said she “strongly disagrees” with the comments made by Mr Murphy and supported the decision by the party’s executive council.

“In light of those comments, I agree with Fine Gael’s decision to remove the whip from Cllr Murphy,” she said.

Mr Murphy told The Gazette he was “surprised by the severity of the punishment” but would not be appealing the decision and that he remains committed to Fine Gael.

“I won’t be appealing the decision because I don’t want to extend the controversy but I am disappointed.”

Mr Murphy said he also plans to run in the next local elections. “I’ll let the people of the constituency decide if they want to re-elect me.

“I’ve been heartened by the amount of goodwill and support from people within the area and the country as a whole.”

The news comes as local councillor for the nearby Sandyford/Glencullen ward, Lynsey McGovern joined Fine Gael after serving as an Independent for the last number of years.

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