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Exclusive: Sharon Graham HAS cancelled Irish conference appearance after Ogle outrage

Email to Unite officers confirms, but gives no reason

Earlier this evening Skwawkbox reported the Unite union had failed to deny that its general secretary Sharon Graham had cancelled her planned appearance in Dublin this week at Unite’s Irish policy conference, with no excuse yet provided by the union, after reports from local union activists. She was due to speak at the event on Tuesday and take part in a ‘Q&A’ with delegates.

Skwawkbox can now exclusively confirm that Ms Graham will not be appearing in Dublin, where she was set to face questions from angry reps and delegates about the union’s treatment of the union’s most senior officer in Ireland, Brendan Ogle. Instead, as an email to Irish officers confirms, a north-west England Unite figure will speak to the conference.

The cancellation comes as outrage continues to mount in Ireland at what locals say is a London-driven political attack on Ireland’s most senior Unite officer, Brendan Ogle, in an attempt to coerce him into a demotion and a sidelined job 100 miles or so from his usual base after his return from successful cancer treatment. The move has seen branches write to Graham demanding Ogle’s return to his normal duties, Irish politicians express their condemnation – and even one of the union’s big sectors start moves to disaffiliate entirely from Unite.

Unite has said that it will not answer any questions from Skwawkbox. Locals have said that the cancellation ‘looks absolutely terrible’ when so many Irish members and branches are demanding accountability and answers.

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