24 June 2004 Edition

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SF councillor suspended

Media speculation abounded this week over news that Sinn Féin Councillor Martin Christie, who was elected in Blanchardstown, Dublin, to Fingal County Council, had been suspended without prejudice from the party.

On Tuesday, Christie confirmed this to be true.

"During a previous employment a number of years ago I inappropriately failed to register the sale of a supply of goods to the value of €1,700," the councillor said.

"This was a moment of stupidity, which was completely out of character and which I have regretted ever since.

"I made a mistake that I corrected immediately by paying the amount back in full and then parted from the company on good terms. No charges or criminal proceedings were ever undertaken."

Christie apologised for the embarrassment the situation had caused.

"I genuinely believed that it was a situation from the past that had been fully and appropriately dealt with and which was now behind me. I apologise for any embarrassment to my family and to Sinn Féin," he said.

"Sinn Féin has suspended me from the party while they look into this matter and pending the outcome of this inquiry I will not be making any further public comment."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1