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Integrity Ireland Spokesperson Stephen Manning ‘Excluded’ From ‘New Grassroots Political Process’

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Thursday June 18, 2015 23:17author by anonauthor phone 086 218 9229 Report this post to the editors

Stephen Manning - PRESS RELEASE - June 15th 2015

In an increasingly bizarre turn of events that raises fundamental questions about the credibility of the much - publicised ‘1st Independent MAYO’ political initiative, prospective candidate Stephen Manning of Ballhaunis, Co. Mayo was advised last Wednesday by project organiser Eddie Farrell that a decision had been made to exclude Mr Manning from participating in the process.

"I can’t believe they are doing this" said Mr Manning. "This decision has come out of nowhere. I wasn’t even consulted on the matter. Not only are some of the allegations completely untrue, but the other reasons given are downright ridiculous. They are basically saying that because of rumour and innuendo, and the fact that my lawful activities with Integrity Ireland are upsetting the status quo and getting some media attention" that this somehow renders me an unsuitable candidate?"

"I was well in the lead as far as getting media attention as we prepared for our first town-hall debate in Belmullet next Thursday. So this decision doesn’t make any sense except in context of a hidden agenda on the part of the organisers. I would definitely be seen as a threat to certain vested interests because of my work with Integrity Ireland, which was set up in 2012 to promote justice and transparency; to challenge systemic corruption; and to help people with legitimate complaints about the authorities."

"I have repeatedly asked the organisers Eddie Farrell and Martin Daly to contact me and clarify the situation, but they will not respond. I have emailed them letting them know that I do not accept this enforced exclusion and that I will be attending the meeting at the Broadhaven Bay Hotel in Belmullet to ask these questions again in public. It is a farcical situation that a political project that is selling itself to the public as a ‘new and innovative approach to grass-roots democracy’ is already steeped in clandestine decision-making and the censorship and exclusion of the leading prospect."

Eddie Farrell and Martin Daly are the Chairperson and the PRO respectively of the Moy Valley Protection Group which is opposed to pylons and wind farms. It is understood that the seed funding for the 1st Independent MAYO project has been provided in the form of an unsecured ‘loan’ from the MVPG. Another 1st Independent candidate, Liam Alex Heffron from Moygownagh, Co. Mayo resigned from the process last Tuesday. Mr Heffron is also on the committee of the Moy Valley Protection Group alongside his father Billy Heffron, a well known businessman, community leader and 2002 Dail candidate.

Stephen Manning 086 218 9229
Integrity Ireland website

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