Wicklow and East Carlow TD Stephen Donnelly has finally ended months of speculation about his political future this morning. It has been announced that Donnelly has officially become a member of Fianna Fáil.
Fianna Fáil TDs were informed of Donnelly’s recruitment at a closed meeting of the parliamentary party in Leinster House this morning.
Donnelly was first elected to the Dáil as an Independent TD in 2011. He went on to found the Social Democrats alongside Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy in 2015. Last February, Donnelly was re-elected as a Social Democrats TD. However, a rift in the party led to Donnelly’s departure in summer 2016. In the months since, Donnelly has sat as an Independent TD.
Although there had been strong rumours linking Donnelly with Fianna Fáil for some time, the news has come as a shock to many. The TD quickly began trending on social media with mixed reaction from the public. A formal announcement is expected this afternoon.