Foyle MLAs Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan have been asked to “consider their positions” following an internal review recent disastrous election results.
They have until the end of June to make their decision.
The entire leadership of the Derry Comhairle Ceantair were also asked to stand aside, including chair and nephew of Ms Anderson, Micky Anderson.
Ms Mullan’s partner was also asked to stand down from his role in the party.
Elisha McCallion lost the Foyle Westminster seat to SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in 2019 by over 17,000 votes.
And in the same year the party lost its majority on Derry City Council to the SDLP.
The Irish News reports that a number of senior party members are to take over the running of Derry Sinn Fein until a new local leadership can be formed.
Old Baily bomber Gerry Kelly MLA and prominent Derry republican Gary Fleming along with senior party members from across the North of Ireland have been appointed to a temporary committee.
The move against convicted bomber Martina Anderson has sent shockwaves through the republican movement.
She is a former party MEP and also served as a junior minister in the Stormont Executive.
After Brexit, she was co-opted onto the Assembly to replace Raymond McCartney who retired from politics in 2020.
Karen Mullan was co-opted onto the Assembly in 2017 to replace Elisha McCallion, Ms Anderson’s niece, after she became elected as Foyle MP.
A Sinn Fein source told The Irish News that the party’s leadership in Derry was left in a “state of shock” last weekend when the review group asked them to step aside.
“Some well-established people have been put out to grass but as the week has gone on, some of them have started to resist.
“Some are even talking about opposing the move to stand them down.
“There is a fear that it could all get a bit messy.”
Sinn Fein ministers have tried to describe the restructuring of Derry Sinn Fein simply as a “internal matter”.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy said the process was designed to examine why the party had taken such a trouncing in the local Derry polls.
He also said they were preparing for the next Assembly elections which is due to take place in May 2022.
“Any party that is sensible and that is ambitious about how it grows and wants to bring about political change right across Ireland will try and look where it is not performing well electorally and see how it can fix things,” said Murphy.
Ms Anderson and Ms Mullan have not made any public comment on the move to oust them as MLAs.
Neither of them has issued any press statements about local issues since the news broke of the bid to depose them from public office.
After losing her Westminster seat, Elisha McCallion was appointed to the Seanad.
However, she resigned, alongside two Sinn Féin officials, last year after she failed to return £10,000 given out by a Stormont emergency Covid fund.
It is understood that was when an investigation was started into the Foyle constituency, the outcome of which was revealed earlier this week by The Irish Examiner newspaper.Tags: