Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Sinn Féin select 25 year old Niall Ó Donnghaile to be Lord Mayor

Thu 26 May 2011, 7:58pm

Niall Ó Donnghaile was only elected to Belfast City Council three weeks ago, but tonight was confirmed as Sinn Féin’s choice for Lord Mayor. He turns 26 at the weekend and is the city’s youngest ever first citizen. Under the d’Hondt rotation, Sinn Féin will get three two Lord Mayors during the next four years. The DUP’s Ruth Patterson will be deputy Lord Mayor.

Niall Ó Donnghaile

Niall is a press officer with Sinn Féin up at the Assembly, and councillor for Pottinger. During his year in office, he’ll be able to welcome Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis to Belfast’s Waterfront when it visits in September.

Update – Just in case anyone thinks they’ll have trouble pronouncing Niall’s surname, put your fears behind you. Here’s a clip of how Niall says it … or just stick to “Lord Mayor”! (Belfast City Council has a whole webpage devoted to how to address the Lord Mayor in speech and in writing.)

Listen!

Back in November 2009, I interviewed Niall and we talked about changes East Belfast, how Sinn Féin was developing, as well as what attracted him into the world of politics.

I asked him whether he was hopeful that there would ever be enough of a vote to get a Sinn Féin candidate elected in East Belfast?

I don’t think it’s impossible, especially with what we alluded to earlier on and the changing nature of East Belfast. Once Titanic Quarter is finished, once Sirocco Quays is finished, this constituency is going to be dramatically different in terms of its makeup.

All the parties will be fishing in that pool, not just Sinn Féin. But I would be confident that if we can be strong enough, if we can be articulate enough and relevant enough in East Belfast particularly in relation to the developments that are going to happen behind me, I think eventually you’ll see the numbers there to elect a Sinn Féin representative whoever that may be.

But for me elections are important … If you are a politico like myself, they can be enjoyable and they can be a good experience, but I don’t need to be elected to do work for people on the ground and whether I am elected or unelected that won’t stop me either way. Some people do work to get elected. Others get elected to do work.

You can read the full interview over on Alan in Belfast.

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Comments (81)

  1. Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh (profile) says:

    Mo sheacht mbeannacht ar Niall Ó Donnghaile, go n-éirí go geal leis!

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  2. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    Lot of responsibility for such a young man. Presumably he has talent and no “bad record”. Really good to see young folk stepping up.

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  3. alan56 (profile) says:

    Is this the sort of ‘New SF’ politician who would be prepared to greet the Queen? Intriuging choice by SF. Will be interesting to observe. Wish him well in the job.

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  4. Niall is a good one for banter when I was Twitter and is a very able young man with a career ahead of him. And there are several SF people of whom that can be said.
    Now that the Sinn Féin Press Officer job is up for grabs, Id like to submit my CV.
    Its the kinda thing Id be good at. And the journos would love me.

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  5. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    I look forward to seeing him at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall in July and November.

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  6. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Alan, three in the next four years ? That can’t be right ?

    Joe, it’s not a lot of responsibility really. The Lord Mayor is really just a ceremonial figurehead.

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  7. pippakin (profile) says:

    At least this one has no previous. The acceptable face of SF. A bit late…

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  8. edgeoftheunion (profile) says:

    Joe

    “Presumably he has talent and no “bad record”. ”

    If he is 25 now he was 8 in 1994. Makes you think….

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  9. Mr Crumlin (profile) says:

    Comhghairdeachas Niall!

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  10. Chris Donnelly (profile) says:

    Congrats to Niall.

    I’ve never been into the ‘he’s young so that must be good’ thing.

    If somebody is qualified and made of the right material then he/she is suitable, regardless of age.

    Niall fits that category, so this is a good step by republicans in Belfast.

    Ranger
    And when a DUP representative takes the office should we be expecting a reciprocal act of generosity come Easter time at Milltown?

    Makes you think, eh…..

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  11. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    Chris
    I did not know that going to the republican plot at Milltown as an official Belfast City Council event???

    Niall can get the ball rolling by going to the Cenotaph on the first of July, with the rest of those there to remember all those that fell during the Battle of the Somme.

    Something to mull over eh….

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  12. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    It would indeed be a grand gesture towards something approaching normal civic behaviour.

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  13. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    “I asked him whether he was hopeful that there would ever be enough of a vote to get a Sinn Féin candidate elected in East Belfast?

    I don’t think it’s impossible, especially with what we alluded to earlier on and the changing nature of East Belfast. Once Titanic Quarter is finished, once Sirocco Quays is finished, this constituency is going to be dramatically different in terms of its makeup.”

    “dramatically different” considering the size of east belfast, niall must think every home in titanic and sirocco will be home to s.f. voting irish nationalists.

    that aside hope he has a quite year.

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  14. Mark McGregor (profile) says:

    So. Out of interest.

    Has the new ‘Lord Mayor’ ever held down an actual real job in his well publicised short life? (working in SF’s press office doesn’t really count as experience of anything but working the SF line)

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  15. George (profile) says:

    I look forward to seeing him at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall in July and November.

    Considering the Queen can bow her head in honour of fallen IRA dead, then that doesn’t seem too much to ask.

    Will be great to see the DUP mayor subsequently returning the favour at Easter although expecting he/she to wear a lily might be too much to expect.

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  16. Comrade Stalin – you’re right – they get 2 of 4. The DUP and SDLP get a turn at Lord Mayor too. SF will be next up again in 2013/14.

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  17. lamhdearg – in terms of East Belfast voters who will back SF, they attract votes in relatively few areas outside Short Strand. At a council level, Pottinger goes extend into South Belfast too. But an influx of young folk to new apartments in the area would be likely to – proportionally – have greater numbers of SF voters than leafy Gilnahirk.

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  18. Every Lord Mayor of Belfast has an invitation to the opening night of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s General Assembly in their in box when they take over. Alex Maskey – first SF mayor of Belfast – attended. Will Niall?

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  19. ForkHandles (profile) says:

    Im all for young people coming in to politics here, mainly to get rid of the older generation that are stuck in the stupid tribal us and them mentality. It’s so embarrassingly backward, as normal people all know. But, read the quote from him
    “I don’t think it’s impossible, especially with what we alluded to earlier on and the changing nature of East Belfast. Once Titanic Quarter is finished, once Sirocco Quays is finished, this constituency is going to be dramatically different in terms of its makeup.
    All the parties will be fishing in that pool, not just Sinn Féin. But I would be confident that if we can be strong enough, if we can be articulate enough and relevant enough in East Belfast particularly in relation to the developments that are going to happen behind me, I think eventually you’ll see the numbers there to elect a Sinn Féin representative whoever that may be.”

    Is he not just talking about “hopefully there will be more of us catholic tribe in this area”? The idea being that us catholics would automatically vote for SF. Isnt this the same mind numbingly embarrassing stuff we get from our current over 60s pathetic politicians.. ?
    I would expect a young person who is not the same sectarian warped mind as the current generation to talk about the ideas they offer and what they can do for the people of the area they seek to represent. I would expect them to be talking about the great things they can do for people in the area. But not surprisingly it looks like this 26 year old is of the same sectarian mentality as every other SF person in NI.

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  20. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    alan
    i dont want to divert the post however
    niall got 1030 first prefs, after count 8 (when he went out) his vote had risen to1149, as Quota was 4622, may questions would be, how many home’s are being built in titanic, and do S.F. have a plan to occupy them all.

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  21. pippakin (profile) says:

    He sounds a bit like Shirley Porter just before she got caught stuffing her constituency with potential tory voters, talk about profiling… I however like to think that UI voters can come from any where.

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  22. belfastjj (profile) says:

    Having attended tonights vote i also look forward to seeing Niall at city hall on Remembrance Day – i hope he engages with everyone in East Belfast

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  23. Blissett (profile) says:

    Sweet divine folks. What do you expect him to say?
    ‘Yes of course, SF could never win a seat here, absolutely no chance of it. We have zero prospect of persuading anyone of our political vision.’ Highly likely indeed.

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  24. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    Blissett
    How about
    S.F hopes over time to covince people from all shades of our community that we are comitted to working for a better future for all of them, and that in time the people of east belfast will vote a s.f. rep into office.
    Im no speech writer but that sounds better ( to a non s,f, voter) than the implied ” just you wait till we get them houses down the titanic quarter)

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  25. Charlie Sheens PR guru (profile) says:

    Somewhat redundant point as their may well be no east belfast next time point, or at least massive redrawing of boundaries.

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  26. Charlie Sheens PR guru (profile) says:

    next time round#

    too late for this…

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  27. Mark (profile) says:

    Mark McGregor ,

    ” So , out of interest , Has the new Lord Mayor ever held down an actual real job in his well publisised short life ?

    Well if it’s been a well publisised short life according to you , surely you know the answer to your own question . Gone on Mark , spit it out – you know you want to …

    Didn’t Mooch bump into Niall a while back outside a former RUC station ?

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  28. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    “Niall can get the ball rolling by going to the Cenotaph on the first of July, with the rest of those there to remember all those that fell during the Battle of the Somme.

    Something to mull over eh….”
    ***
    “It would indeed be a grand gesture towards something approaching normal civic behaviour.”

    Is here where I, the American, remind you of your own history:

    http://republican-news.org/archive/2002/July04/04diff.html

    Oh, and Joe, note the point about some appropriating the history for themselves to the exclusion of some others. Now understand the implication(s) of their doing so.

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  29. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    Sorry, almost forgot:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/sinn-fein-lord-mayor-honours-war-dead-13898112.html

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  30. Behans Ghost (profile) says:

    Fair play to Niall! People could do with remembering that all the great and wise politicians up on the hill were once youg idealistic whipper snappers! I hope there’s more like him coming through from all parties to give politics in the north some much needed energy and new ideas!

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  31. This morning’s Belfast Telegraph has some great quotes in their article which takes the line of youth and inexperience.

    It has also, unsurprisingly, raised eyebrows from the unionist camp in the divided chamber.

    “I have overcoats in the wardrobe that are older,” quipped PUP representative Hugh Smyth, who has 38 years’ experience as a councillor.

    “I am all for new blood coming in, but you have to serve your time as a councillor before being made Lord Mayor. He didn’t even know where the men’s toilets were in City Hall.

    “It was 20 years before I was considered for the mayoralty.”

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  32. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Age shouldn’t be the issue, but surely some experience is necessary? as Wikipedia says
    “The office of mayor is… generally regarded as an honour conferred for local distinction, long service on the Council, or for past services.”
    Weeks into his role as councillor, having been a party hack up to then, does not qualify him on any of these fronts so far as I can see. However it is entirely a matter for SF if they want to belittle the role to this extent.

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  33. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    “However it is entirely a matter for SF if they want to belittle the role to this extent.”

    And that completes the circle. Appoint someone older, who by definition, will have a past, and you’re “insensitive”. Select from the only lot who can’t have a past, the young folk, and you “belittle” the office.

    Lastly, Alan, you entirely correct, some great quotes, with this one taking the cake. Note the age of his first election to office and then his gripe:

    “I am all for younger people in politics but there are serious questions over councillor O’Donnghaile’s lack of experience,” said the DUP’s Christopher Stalford (28), who was first elected at 22.

    Now for more of the nitwits who can’t appreciate the IMPLICATIONS of what they say:

    “It raises the question about the capacity of Sinn Fein in Belfast — do they have so little confidence in their long-standing members that they have to turn to the new kid on the block?”

    I trust that he means those “long-standing members” that have taken human life and for whose appointment SF will be branded “insensitive”.

    As we on this side of the pond say, you couldn’t make it up.

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  34. DR is right, of course. Experience is important and there can be little doubt that he will need to consult wise people in his early years as a politician.

    Then again, the man might have exceptional talent. For all we know, he could be First Minister in 2023.

    The news reminded me of the story of William Pitt (the younger) who became Prime Minister of Great Britain at the tender age of 24 in 1783 and later went on to become one of the nation’s greatest prime ministers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Pitt_the_Younger

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  35. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    Youth should be no disbarment to the mayorality. I was but eight years old when I assumed the demanding role of Lord Mayor of London.

    Admittedly this was in a Primary School annual pantomime production of Dick Whittington and his Cat but, like young Ó Donnghaile, I too had to learn my lines word perfect, remember my stage marks, wear my costume with dignity and smile and wave and frown as appropriate to the occasion. Come to think of it, when his term’s up and they need a replacement…

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  36. belfastjj (profile) says:

    “This morning’s Belfast Telegraph has some great quotes”

    Pity they quoted the wrong person Alan – it was Bob Stoker on a point of Order

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  37. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Slappy, I will say that his appointment is much preferable to those with a criminal past, however I’m sure not all the SF representative have one, so in the rare possibility that was a consideration it is unlikely he was the only option.

    As for Mr. Salford, was he appointed Mayor in his first term? if not what are you getting at.

    Seymour, Pitt at least waited 3 years, although refusing the role 3 times he earned his position in that short time. Maybe Niall will do the same, but starting at the top can sometimes mean the only way is down….

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  38. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    slappymcgroundout

    am “Niall can get the ball rolling by going to the Cenotaph on the first of July, with the rest of those there to remember all those that fell during the Battle of the Somme.

    Something to mull over eh….”
    ***
    “It would indeed be a grand gesture towards something approaching normal civic behaviour.”

    Is here where I, the American, remind you of your own history:

    http://republican-news.org/archive/2002/July04/04diff.html

    All well and good slappymcgroundout, and I’m sure the shinners got plenty of media coverage for their stunt. Because that was exactly what it was a cheap publicity stunt. I’m not talking about them going there on their own; I’m talking about the new lord mayor going along with all the others there to remember all the war dead.

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  39. JH (profile) says:

    How would you know that wasn’t just a stunt then?

    When is it a stunt and when is it a genuine act? Who decides?

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  40. mehawind (profile) says:

    ranger1640

    Republicans have commemorated the Irish dead from both World Wars in their own way for many years. The fact that they don’t pay the British Legion for that privilege, or sing GSTQ during, does not make their commemorative practices any less than yours.

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  41. alex gray (profile) says:

    This appointment suggests you need NO experience to be a Lord Mayor. It is a bizarre appointment after just 3 weeks on the council. Coming in the same week that SF appointed Mary Travers’s murderer to a top job in Stormont, are Sinn Fein taking the ***s out of all of us. They can do whatever they like and that is just what they are doing.

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  42. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    It may come as a surprise to you, Alex, but in fact NO experience whatsoever is required to be a Lord Mayor. A baby could do it. In the London boroughs the mayorality is usually handed over to some amiable old drunk who has served his time as a party hack, is now past his sell-by date and who will (unlike a recent past mayor of St Albans) at least desist from rubbing up against the sixth-form schoolgirls as he hands out the certificates at leaving ceremomies.

    Come to think of it, I would be probably be admirably suited for such a position meself.

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  43. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Why’d he change his name? What’s he got to hide?

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  44. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    “some amiable old drunk who has served his time as a party hack”

    Too true Rory, to be honest the last thing you want in the role is some hot headed young revoloutionary! not that I’m say in Niall is one, no-one really knows yet as he hasn’t been round long enough for people to find out. Its not a political role, its a figure head honour role, hope young Naill dosn’t get carried away!

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  45. > Why’d he change his name? What’s he got to hide?

    sonofstrongbow – no one has suggested that anyone has changed their name.

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  46. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    Niall has been SF’s rep in East Belfast for almost 6 years, he has worked alongside SF’s council group for the same period and has been a defacto councilor for Pottinger(particularly the Short Strand), he is not as new to this as some would have you believe.

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  47. dwatch (profile) says:

    Niall Ó Donnghaile is going places. Reason, he won the first and only SF Belfast City Council seat in the pottinger area of East Belfast. On top of that he won it at the expense of the defeat of UUP candidate Philip Robinson.

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  48. Taibhse-wolf-tone- (profile) black spot says:

    Tá Na Dhaoine Níos Fear Na Thiarna Ar Bith,but fair play to HMs Mayor.A little Goatie would ‘sex’ him up a bit for the MSM,MainStreamMovement.The Right ‘goatie’ would look good with Southern ‘Left Republican icon,Eoin O’broin.
    Not trying to split hairs or anything but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck,then Quack,Quack-It’s a Beard.

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  49. dwatch (profile) says:

    I forgot to mention along with Niall Ó Donnghaile, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, (editor of Andytown News) won the first ever SF council seat in the Balmoral area of S Belfast to the expense of UUP candidate Jim Kirkpatrick. I would say he will be the next City Mayor when SF come up for selection

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  50. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    dwatch he is actually the second SF member to win a seat in Pottinger, Joe O’Donnell won it in 2001.

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  51. dwatch (profile) says:

    Thanks Trapattoni for this correction. My old memory is not the best. Joe O’Donnell must have lost it in 2005 (or was it 2007) to UUP Philip Robinson

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  52. Reader (profile) says:

    George: Will be great to see the DUP mayor subsequently returning the favour at Easter although expecting he/she to wear a lily might be too much to expect.
    Do the Easter ceremonies commemorate both Unionist and Nationalist dead?
    Didn’t think so.

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  53. chewnicked (profile) says:

    Reader,
    I thought that the poppy commemorations remembered only those who fought for the British Army. How does the poppy cermonies commemorate nationalist dead?

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  54. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    Deborah Devenny lost the seat in 2005, I think it was actually lost to alliance, I stand to be corrected on that.

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  55. dwatch (profile) says:

    You are probably right. Philip Robinson held the seat for UUP up until this 2011 election

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  56. Mark McGregor (profile) says:

    dwatch,

    Robinson didn’t ‘hold’ anything. He was coopted into Empey’s old seat around a year ago.

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  57. Mark McGregor (profile) says:

    My take on Pottinger would be SF took back the seat lost to Alliance in 2005 due to the McCartney murder and Alliance retained their seat by talking the final UUP seat.

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  58. dwatch (profile) says:

    Previous council had 3 DUP 1 alliance 1 PUP & 1 UUP
    New Council have 3 DUP 1 Alliance 1 PUP & 1 SF
    So it is obvious UUP lost a seat and SF gained a seat.

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  59. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    Mark
    according to trap Niall has been s.f. rep in the strand for six years, about the time of the McCartney murder, any connection?, also What do you make on his view that the new homes at titanic will get s.f. a assembly seat in east belfast.

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  60. carl marks (profile) says:

    ranger1640

    I look forward to seeing him at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall in July and November.

    lets see if we can get his deputy to learn some manners first then you can lecture the mayor on how to reach out to the other side

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  61. Sambo (profile) says:

    The election of a Gaeilgeoir as Mayor has shown how far we have progressed since 1969.

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  62. dwatch (profile) says:

    “lets see if we can get his deputy to learn some manners first then you can lecture the mayor on how to reach out to the other side”

    Carl Marks, I agree Ruth Patterson is an idiot who gives the other unionists a bad name. But now maybe the new SF Mayor and the other SF councillors will learn some manners and pay respect to the James Magennis VC memorial (Northern Ireland’s only Victoria Cross decoration in WW2) just a few feet from the City Hall front door. In 1999 ( when Niall was just 13) SF were the only party who refused to pay respect, support and even attend the unveiling of this memorial to (one of their own) a Catholic from West Belfast who attended St Finan’s the same school as Gerry Adams did. Alban Maginness who was a nationalist SDLP Mayor the previous year, along with other SDLP councillors were the best supporters for getting this memorial erected. In 1999 the next year Bob Stoker UUP was the Mayor who unveiled it. In fact had the Shinners been in the majority back in the late 1990′s the Magennis memorial would never have been erected.

    Carl Marks & other republicans, was SF’s silent, objection because the erection to a working class Catholic James Magennis memorial in the grounds of City Hall put to bed all the anti Catholic bigotry crap played out over the years by shinners against Unionists in the City Hall Belfast????

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  63. dwatch (profile) says:

    In fact when SF and all their supporters going to pay respect to one of their own and erect a mural in West Belfast in memory to James Magennis VC like the prods of East Belfast have done so here Tullycarnnet
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joseph_Magennis
    This turns all SF’s anti Catholic bigotry propaganda against Prods & Unionists on its head.

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  64. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    New mayor must have been born in 1985(ish?), so will have little or no memory of his party’s “Armed Struggle” up to 1990 – a rather one-sided affair, kind of like Barcelona from last night only with ethnic slaughter. His first news memories were probably kicking in around the time of the “Loyalist backlash” from 1990 onwards. I wonder how that might have skewed his view of what happened overall? Sort of like switching the game on for the last 10 minutes. Otherwise it’s difficult to see how anyone could join or support SF in all conscience.

    We’re still living with the trauma of the futile and failed adventure of the Armed Struggle, meted out on the rest of us by the Republican Movement. I think the only sensitive thing SF could do now would be to dissolve its current structure and disconnect entirely from its terrorist past. They could start afresh as a new party with no baggage – more electable surely among nationalists and more acceptable to unionists – and an ability to take an objective and critical approach to the atrocities of Republican terrorists in the 69-98 years. We’re just not getting anything sensible from them yet and it’s 13 years on from Good Friday. We expected more by now. Change of tack needed from them I think.

    Maybe this new mayor – I know nowt about him – could be one of a new generation that stands up, questions the past their elders have spun to them and makes that change. Could be a smart political love for Republicans …

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  65. Mainland Ulsterman (profile) says:

    Freudian slip – “political love” should read “political move”!! I don’t think love comes into Republican politics much.

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  66. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    You have to laugh at the unionists talking about how experience is required to be Lord Mayor, looking at the number of less than stellar performers they put in the hot seat over the years. Top of the list being Herbert Diddy.

    This whole question to me is an example of unionism’s excessive emphasis on symbolism. The Lord Mayor is a purely symbolic post, he has no administrative or leadership role in the council worth talking about. You don’t need “experience” or anything else like that, you just need to have a good personality and get yourself out and about as much as possible. It’s kind of a hard job to screw up.

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  67. PaddyReilly (profile) says:

    They could start afresh as a new party with no baggage – more electable surely among nationalists and more acceptable to unionists

    The last election shows that SF are eminently electable among Nationalists and likely to become more so. It is the less extremist nationalism of the SDLP that is on the way out.

    Making itself acceptable to Unionists is far from SF’s agenda. Perhaps your time would be more usefully employed persuading the proprietors of “Men Only” that they need to drop the pictures of naked women to make their magazine acceptable to feminists. Sounds to me like a good way to go broke.

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  68. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    dwatch while reading back over Niall blog I came accross this, I think they may be of interest to you and some others.

    http://glormhicairt.blogspot.com/2010/11/much-has-been-made-of-sdlp-leader.html

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  69. Sambo (profile) says:

    The House Negroe and The Field Negroe,I’m A Field Negroe.-Malcolm X

    The Greatest Weapon of The Oppressor is The Mind of
    The Oppressed-Stiofáin Biko.ANC

    Our Greatest Weapon is our Mind-Mairead Farrell-Oglaigh Na hEireann.

    Gluaiseacht air Strae.-‘Class distinction is to be seen in the Gaeltacht more than in any other part of Ireland.Marx,Engels and Lenin would have found clear proof of their conviction that the men of property,the Capitalists,are quickest to betray the peoples culture.The poor were the Gaelic speakers.Class hatred burned in me before i ever read a word of Connolly or Das Kapital.When i did read them i understood immediately what they were about.Today the same position holds in Gaelic-speaking Ireland.You have only to look at the way the people of property in the Gaeltacht are killing of the culture and the language of the people.Is their a hatred in the propertied class in the Gaeltacht towards me and my like?Certainly their is.It is not i who affirms the class war.The Hotel Owners carry on this war from from day today,year to year,operating against the lower class and its culture.-M.O.C.-
    Connemara Native Máirtín O Cadhain was Black listed from the Gaeltacht Schools and dismissed from his post as in Carn Mor by Bishop O’Doherty.He’d grown up in the Cnocan Glas and had to leave to move to Dublin to work as a Labourer.I remember as a 10 year-old child growing uo on a council estate in Dublin and having to watch my 12 year-old sister getting dragged by the hair along the ground and been called a Nigger.Because she is Black-The experience of The urban ‘field negroe
    In 80s Dublin,was not that dissimilar too the experience of the rural field negroes like Martain O’Cadhain in the Gaeltacht speking areas of Connemara in the late 60s.Day to Day.Year to Year.

    I’m a Field Negroe-Anto X.

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  70. carl marks (profile) says:

    dwatch
    in not a republician i dont vote sf nor do i support them interesting hat you think im on for stateing tht the deputy mayor should learn some manners

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  71. fordprefect (profile) says:

    Niall is a personable young man and easy to get on with (I know him personally). For others on here to say that SF “made up” anti-catholic/republican bias in City Hall is ridiculous! I remember when Alex Maskey became SF’s first councillor (and the ones that followed after him), that whenever they tried to speak, Rhonda and Sammy and co. were blowing whistles, shouting and cat-calling like unruly schoolkids! I also remember George Seawright calling for an incinerator to burn catholics and “throw their priests in along with them” and Sammy congratulating the killers of SF councillor Eddie Fullerton.

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  72. carl marks (profile) says:

    im still bemused about dwatchs claim that anti catholic bias in city hall was a invention of sf could anybody produce statistics showing how many catholics were employed by the councill when it was controlled by unionists, i remember that there were figures regarding stormount produced a while ago and and very few if any catholics were working there,
    I followed dwatchs link about James Magennis and he should have read it before posting as the reason given for this brave man being ignored be city hall was surpise surpise he was a catholic.

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  73. dwatch (profile) says:

    ‘I followed dwatchs link about James Magennis and he should have read it before posting as the reason given for this brave man being ignored be city hall was surpise surpise he was a catholic.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joseph_Magennis

    Indeed, but the fur coat brigade of Unionists in City Hall Belfast were anti working class (Prod as well as Catholic) back in 1945 in matters such as statues, memorials & the freedom of the City. In 1999 it was the Unionists as well as SDLP nationalists & Alliance who all supported and turned out on the day of the unveiling of the memorial to Magennis.

    On that same day not one SF Belfast City Councillor was present. Maybe Carl Marks can explain why???????

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  74. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    “We’re still living with the trauma of the futile and failed adventure of the Armed Struggle, meted out on the rest of us by the Republican Movement.”

    They got a mandatory coalition, a veto and the choice to identify as Irish nationalist, none of which was in Sunningdale. May not have been the whole enchilada but it’s better than the rice and beans that even your tribe rejected when it collapsed Sunningdale.

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  75. carl marks (profile) says:

    dwatch
    On that same day not one SF Belfast City Councillor was present. Maybe Carl Marks can explain why???????

    ill type this slowly as u dont seem to be able to keep up IM NOT A SHINNER NOR DO I VOTE FOR THEM maybe you could ask one of them, it is true the fur coat unionists were only interested in workingclass prods when the taigs got uppity but from the formatation of norn iron and before the council as a matter of routine discrimmated against catholics and to claim that this is a figment of sf’s propaganda machine is just silly and shows a blinkered approach to history equaled only by the sort of people that claim the holocaust never happened

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  76. dwatch (profile) says:

    C Marks, ok so you say you are not a shinner or dont vote for them. You have done about everything else on this forum to support them and defend their actions regards employing ex IRA terrorist murderers, so I have no option but take your statement with a pinch of salt

    This is my last post on this thread, its become so repetitive.

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  77. carl marks (profile) says:

    where did i support they employment of anyone please show me

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  78. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    So the Mayor has already been to the Shankill, a week in and he is already proving by his actions that he intends to be a Mayor for all of Belfast.

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  79. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    I remember a contributor here asking about this very issue.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/belfasts-sinn-fein-mayor-for-presbyterian-event-16007376.html

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  80. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    http://twitter.com/#!/NiallSF

    It would appear the Mayor is very comfortable of the Shankill, he’s there again today.

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  81. Trapattoni (profile) says:

    So what do people think of the new Mayor’s term to date???

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