Latest: Sinn Féin states 'there is no place for bullying' in party after Limerick Councillor quits

Update - 5.46pm: Sinn Féin have responded to Lisa Marie Sheehy's allegations of bullying within the party, saying bullying is not something the party tolerates.

The party's statement said: "Like all parties, issues arise in constituencies. We tried to resolve the issue but unfortunately this dispute could not be resolved and Lisa Marie has resigned. We are very disappointed to see Lisa Marie go.

"There is no place for bullying in Sinn Féin. It is not something we tolerate in our party and we will have no hesitation in expelling any members found to be involved in this type of behaviour."

Earlier: Sinn Féin's youngest public representative has today announced her resignation from the party.

Limerick Councillor Lisa Marie Sheehy has blamed a "hostile and toxic" environment for her decision to leave.

The Glenroe-based councillor stated that she made a complaint to party organisers recently regarding how she felt she was being treated and in regard to incidents that occurred at official meetings.

According to Councillor Sheehy, Sinn Féin conducted an investigation through the party structure, the outcome of which she felt was unsatisfactory.

In a statement, the 23-year-old has also accused the party of intimidation and bullying, adding that her resignation "won't be the last".

She said that she will continue to serve as an independent Councillor for Limerick City and County Council.

"I'm interested in getting things done in my area for the people who elected me and not engaging in bullyboy politics," she said.

"I cannot stand behind a party that does not take its membership's valid concerns seriously. If we look back at the people who have left the party or decided not to run for re-election due to bullying within the party, it's disheartening and disgraceful and Sinn Féin has not learned its lesson.

"I have no respect for the party anymore as I have been undermined, bullied and humiliated.

"Since I have been elected I have tried to fulfil my duty as a public representative to the best of my ability and during that time I have been consistently and frequently belittled by party members and after seeing a number of other members wronged by the party and nothing of substance being done about it I could not stay any longer."

Sinn Féin has been contacted for comment.

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