Sinn Féin has confirmed that it has expelled one of its Cork councillors and suspended another.

A spokesman said Cllr Kieran McCarthy has been expelled while Cllr Melissa Mullane has been suspended for 12 months.

The spokesman said the action followed a recommendation of an internal party review.

No reason has been given for the action.

Cllr McCarthy represented the Cobh electoral area, while Cllr Mullane represents the Mallow-Kanturk electoral area.

The two councillors were informed of the move at a meeting in Cork city this morning.

It follows a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle in Naas, Co Kildare, yesterday.

The Ard Comhairle discussed a report from Cork North Central Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O'Brien, who chaired the review of the party in the Cork East constituency.

In a statement, Cllr McCarthy said he had been given no reason or evidence to warrant his expulsion from Sinn Féin, and he accused the party of stabbing him in the back. 

He described his expulsion as an attempt to override the democratic process and to stifle the will of the Sinn Féin membership in the Cork East constituency who, he said, had "lost the confidence of the sitting TD".

Cllr McCarthy said he would continue to work for the people who elected him and the people who support him.

He said he would issue a fuller statement in the coming days.

A statement released by Sinn Féin said: "An internal party review was taken in the Cork East constituency, the findings of which were accepted by the Ard Comhairle on Sunday. 

"The findings suggested that a councillor be expelled from the party and another suspended for a period of 12 months." 

Attempts to contact both councillors, both by phone and by e-mail, have been unsuccessful. 

Mr O'Brien has not responded to telephone calls either.

The Sinn Féin spokesman said both councillors have been informed that they have 21 days to appeal the Ard Comhairle's decision. 

Sinn Féin is represented by TD Sandra McLellan in Cork East.

There have been reports of tension between her and the two councillors in recent months over whether the party should run one or two candidates in the next general election in the constituency.