A number of Ógra Fianna Fáil groups have sent a letter to the party’s head office demanding the impeachment of Ógra president Bryan Mallon.
Meath Live has seen the letter which one party activists claims ‘is causing civil war within Ógra’.
Stunning claims have also emerged that youth activists were encouraging non FF supporting friends to join Ógra to ensure they had enough votes to secure senior committee positions.
And a motion of no confidence in Mallon which was passed at an officer board meeting last weekend is now being contested by his supporters\
The problem appears to have initially centred around the leaking of what were meant to be private WhatsApp messages and recruitment campaigns for Ógra failing to be in place prior to a Clubs and Society’s day in colleges earlier this year, that is the day new students can sign up to be part of a club or society on their campus.
One source revealed, ‘The recruitment campaigns in Ógra Fianna Fáil are one of our big pushes every year and they are always big on having a theme for it. As a secretary for a College Cumann, there were concerns about whether there would be a recruitment campaign for third-level.
‘At a committee meeting, members were told that there was “no theme” and that a recruitment video wasn’t being made until “early October”, well after Clubs and Socs day at this specific College
‘It was strange that it was being left so late to organise this recruitment video and I made a suggestion in the Ógra Whatsapp group chat, that a message should be sent to one of the Central Office Board (COB) female members, to ask her if there was any progress being made
‘The Chair of the College Cumann I was a member of, branded this suggestion as “unfair” and “unjustified”, as there was a “clear plan”.
‘Screenshots of the Whatsapp group chat were sent to Mallon, without my consent. And he then scolded a committee member for speaking to me and others, and completely ignored our concerns.
‘I resigned from the party at that stage because I was unhappy over the WhatsApp leaks and the way our concerns were just summarily dismissed out of hand.
‘Another thing I felt was wrong was there was a common practice within Ógra of people asking their friends who wouldn’t be FF inclined to sign up and vote for them in the contests for various committee positions.
‘In my resignation letter I admitted frankly that the whole affair was having a significant impact on my mental health.
‘I did receive a call from the National Youth organiser who conceded the affair had been badly handled and suggested it would be good if I took a break, that is the last I heard from them
‘I did have somebody raise the matter on my behalf at National Council level and also emailed Bryan Mallon but have heard nothing back from anyone.
‘It was then I went public with my opinions on Twitter at which point Bryan contacted me after he claimed to other officers that all issues had been sorted, he only did that after I had made it known my concerns were being completely ignored’.
However one Ógra member from Kildare rebuts all those claims and told us they felt Mallon was being deliberately targeted with a view to forcing his resignation.
They said, ‘The letter of impeachment has not yet been circulated properly to party ordinary members instead it was leaked to other youth wings.
“The standing orders to remove someone from office are tight, you don’t just get a 50% majority and a person is gone.
‘A 2/3 majority needs to be secured at the National Council. They could very easily get 50% but they are not going to get 2/3s. So, their strategy at the moment is to leak it to anyone who will accept the direct message and hope that it pushes Bryan to resign, rather than bringing it to the council.
‘They have never seen eye-to-eye with Mallon as he is very Republican and progressive. It is all very nasty” they revealed.
“A lot of female members resigned and one of our female officers resigned, but it is not because of Bryan Mallon, it is because of the people that are accusing Bryan at the moment.
‘The term I would use to describe what Ógra is going through right now is ‘Civil War’, and it has been for the last year”.
“The COB female officer resigned because of some of the activities of some of the people that signed Mallon’s impeachment letter.
‘They berated her, they attacked her, they basically dismissed the recruitment campaign before it was even published, and from what I’ve seen, she had done a very good job given the circumstances such as Covid19. These people dismissed everything she did on every occasion and she felt she had to resign”.
“People have benefitted from this whole crisis. A majority of the people who have signed the impeachment letter are right wing. This isn’t a misogyny issue or race issue, if Bryan is removed from office, it will usher in the rise of the far right within Ógra Fianna Fáil, which is why I am so concerned about this”.
On the topic of Ógra FF candidates getting their friends to join the organisation to elect them, our source clamed, “I’ve never understood that whole argument. You need to pay €20 to sign up, a lot of our members are college students, €20 is a lot, you need to give Fianna Fáil head Quarters photo ID, fill out a few forms, sign up to the party and you need to give consent in order to be contacted.
‘You will be spammed with details of meetings that you will never attend. If you really want to swing an Ógra election, you will need 100 votes. People are better off running for a Fianna Fáil Ard Comhairle, where they will need less votes.
It has emerged that last weekend the Ógra Central Officer Board passed a motion of no confidence in Mallon but that this is now being contested by his supporters.
The source told us “Bryan Mallon was elected President by our membership therefore, if they choose to,.
‘It should only be the membership that have the authority to remove him. They took it into their own hands to have a vote of no confidence, which there is no standing order to allow that’.
Multiple Ógra Fianna Fáil sources got in contact with Meath Live to say that individuals do not have to pay €20 to join Ógra Fianna Fáil, it is free, the only fee involved is €5 for a delegate pass to have a vote at the National Youth Council.