Former Sinn Fein councillor concerned at party direction

John O'Dowd and Maurice Magill.
John O'Dowd and Maurice Magill.

A FORMER Sinn Fein councillor has said the party needs to get back to its roots.

The comments from Maurice Magill come after Education Minister John O’Dowd refused to meet the board of governors of Donacloney Primary School then made the now infamous ‘So What’ comment during a debate on a ‘Shared Future’

Mr Magill, who served on Craigavon Council alongside John O’Dowd, said on Facebook: “Sinn Fein need to start listening and consulting with the people to put the point across. Where has all their community consultation gone? Dictatorship seems to be the order of the day with their party. It is good to talk.”

He later told the ‘MAIL’: “I don’t represent anybody but people still see me as a member of the community that they can come to to voice their concerns.

“What people are telling me is Sinn Fein were a grass roots party that seem to have lost their way.

“People say they’re sitting up in their ivory tower in Stormont and don’t know what’s going on in their communities.”

Mr Magill suggested Sinn Fein, along with other political parties, set up clinics for people with concerns about their communities to call in to.

He said: “When I was a member of Sinn Fein it was all about reaching out to all sections of the community.

“These two examples at Donacloney and the ‘So What’ comment show they aren’t doing this.

“I was astounded myself when I heard the ‘So What’ soundbite. You could maybe get away with something like that at Craigavon Council but not at that level.”