Fianna Fail sets 2019 as a target date for running in NI elections

6 views

And so it seems that Fianna Fail is to put its money where its attention has been for some time:

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has confirmed his party’s intention to stand for election in Northern Ireland in 2019. “I’ve set that as a target to field candidates,” he said.

The party passed a motion from Donegal North East and Dublin Bay South delegates without debate – it called for active and serious participating and engagement in the political process in Northern Ireland. “Following on from this, the party should begin fielding candidates for election there for 2019.”

Mr Martin said the party had a growing northern membership who were anxious to participate. The party has already begun to organise locally with the establishment of a number of cumainn.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Martin highlighted his particular interest in the North “to keep it on the Government radar”. He said he visited the North quite often and had made some significant speeches on Northern Ireland and North/South issues.

“We’re impatient with the lack of progress North/South,” he said. “The first phase of our engagement with the North is very much on a policy basis. In terms of an electoral phase, I think 2019 would be a key date in terms of targeting for participation in Northern elections.”

Interesting times….

, ,

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Will FG respond and come to the party as well? Four Nationalist choices to add to the five Unionists should make for an interesting ballot paper…

  • Mick Fealty

    They’ve been thinking about it… But I cannot draw any of them beyond an Ard Fheis motion…

  • boondock

    The sooner the better. With turnout dropping year after year ff and fg coming North would help boost nationalism and get out more non voters and also put a bit more pressure on SF.

  • Mick Fealty

    Lack of competition in nationalism is one reason why it consistently punches below its weight in Stormont.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Frankly, I’ll believe it when I see it. Motions get passed about all sorts of things at party conferences and the leaderships don’t seem to think of them as binding. This saga has been going on since 2007.

  • Mick Fealty

    Fair comment NN. Though, two things: it seems to be coming from the leader; and it comes with a target date. Though as all long term Slugger readers will remember, a target date is not a deadline! ;-)

  • Nordie Northsider

    The puzzling thing is what FF think they have to gain from it. I’ve heard people say that they want to challenge SF’s boast of being the only major all-Ireland party (sorry, Greens). But I’m not sure that’s worth many votes in the real world. Another explanation often advanced is that since SF are taking the fight to them south of the border, FF are obliged to fight back in the North. By that analysis, this is as much about Southern politics than Northern, but, again, I’m not convinced that the argument holds up. If the SF vote was dented in the North would it take away from their support in the South? I can’t see that it would.

  • Morpheus

    FF will be laughed out of Northern Ireland because each and every interview will contain the words “where have you been for the past 100 years, why did you just sit back and watch from a distance and why now?”

  • Floreat Ultonia

    They only founded 88 years ago to be fair ;)

  • Morpheus

    :)

  • Republic of Connaught

    Morpheus:

    “where have you been for the past 100 years”

    By that logic no new party can start up in the six counties without having the same question thrown at them.

    I think FF will attract a lot of moderate nationalists if they get impressive northern candidates. They don’t have Sinn Fein’s modern baggage and they will be an All Ireland party, unlike the SDLP.

  • Morpheus

    How do you figure that? NI21 just set up and that question won’t be thrown at them because they are new and were not formed and established for 88 years (thanks FU) watching the people they hope to get votes from being smashed by the Orange State.

    SF could be the biggest party in Northern Ireland after the next election and they don’t seem to be doing too badly in RoI either so their modern baggage doesn’t seem to be holding them back but they will be moved along in time and the Young Turks in McDonald and Doherty who have no baggage at all will take over the reigns.

    http://www.thejournal.ie/millward-brown-poll-for-the-sunday-independent-1339829-Mar2014/

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Connaught- FF have plenty of baggage of their own- institutional corruption, property bubble and the rest- and it’s more recent than SF’s links to paramilitarism.

    Morph: interesting poll that. What do you think of SF’s transfer prospects in the South’s next GE? If they improve, a coalition partnership may not be that far off…

  • Republic of Connaught

    “watching the people they hope to get votes from being smashed by the Orange State.”

    Perhaps post 2019 they’re hoping to get votes from the younger generation of nationalists who never experienced the Orange state and are looking forward, not back.

    FU:

    “FF have plenty of baggage of their own- institutional corruption, property bubble and the rest- and it’s more recent than SF’s links to paramilitarism.”

    Indeed, but if I were a moderate Protestant in NI open to exploring a united Ireland or a current/former SDLP voter I would consider FF’s history during the Celtic tiger a tad less sinister than what Sinn Fein were involved in.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Fianna Fail’s effects on Northern Ireland, particularly the border region are there for people to see. They’ve got some decent PR from McAlease but the fact they need 5 years to rid themselves of the Shackles of Cowan.

    If they do, I definitely will Neil Blaney a few independent SDLP candidates into the 26 county elections.

  • IrelandNorth

    2019 would be historicaly consonant with the centenary of the first Dáil (Doyle!). And with Fíanna Fáil’s (FFs) (Fee-anna Foyles) doppleganger Fíne Gaél (FG) (Finna Gail) making similiar noises in like time frame, a lot of vote splitting could take place. And with the strong liklihood of a FF/SF coalition ousting the FG/Lab serial austericists in 2016, this could prove opportune north of an increasingly insignificant Checkpoint Eddie (ie da border). (FF couldn’t be trusted so soon without SF or some other supervision, notwithstanding a relatively uncontaminated Míceal (Me-haul) Martin from the bad old days of corporate cronyism. But wherefore reciprocity for generic Ulster unionism in the rest of Ireland. It used to be said that if you ran a unionist in Dun Laoghaire (Done Leary)/Rathdown (ie Dublin Sth Co) they’d win hands down being a considered bailiwick of ‘west-Brits’ (ie upper-middle class closet anglophile FG types). It usedn’t to be called Kingstown for nothing! But if FF/FG run candidates in N Ireland/Ulster (NI/U), (as well as Ulster/N Ireland (U/NI), would they take their seats in Westminister, or be abstentious like SF?

  • Floreat Ultonia

    Feel and Fall, Fine Girl (as Hall’s Pictorial Weekly used to distinguish them).

    As I hinted above, almost every date is historically consonant with something or other, 2019 isn’t that significant.

    If this FF/SF bandwagon wins seats in NI-even North Down- could Sylvia Hermon move her yacht club-based campaign to Dun Laoighaire?

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “Another explanation often advanced is that since SF are taking the fight to them south of the border, FF are obliged to fight back in the North. By that analysis, this is as much about Southern politics than Northern, but, again, I’m not convinced that the argument holds up. If the SF vote was dented in the North would it take away from their support in the South? I can’t see that it would.”

    @Nordie,

    But parties only have so much money to spread around. With the SDLP not putting up much of a fight in the North this frees up more Shinner money for the South. If FF can organize a challenge without spending too much money in the North, it will diminish the Shinner effort in the South. In American presidential elections a party with lots of money will often spend it in states that it has written off in the hope that it will cause the other party to spend more money in those states.

    But the best thing that FF could do would be to form an electoral pact–overt or covert–so their candidates aren’t going up against SDLP candidates in the same constituencies and thus diluting the anti-Shinner vote.

  • Republic of Connaught

    “Feel and Fall, Fine Girl (as Hall’s Pictorial Weekly used to distinguish them).”

    What difference does it make to a nationalist if FF or FG are your type of parties or not? One would have thought proper Inationalists would welcome All Ireland parties into the north whether they would vote for them or not.

    The only people who will be perturbed to see FF go All Ireland are Sinn Fein and Unionists. Because both are content with the status quo.

  • Floreat Ultonia

    “But the best thing that FF could do would be to form an electoral pact–overt or covert–so their candidates aren’t going up against SDLP candidates in the same constituencies and thus diluting the anti-Shinner vote”

    Surely it would need to be so subtle as to be almost non-existent? There are only 18 constituencies, if both parties don’t contest all 18 they’ll look pretty lame.

    RoC- and presumably the electorally threatened SDLP might join the perturbed minority. If you can call 90% of the voters that ;)

  • Republic of Connaught

    “presumably the electorally threatened SDLP might join the perturbed minority”

    I don’t see anything but decline for the SDLP the way things are going whether FF arrive or not. Their best politician, Mark Durkan, is over in England a lot of the time. He’d be of more use in Stormont.

  • Politico68

    FF have no choice. In a UI scenario SF would be the biggest party on the island, so FF have to position themselves now in preparation. Its clear we are entering the endgame stage visa vis partition. Expect many political shocks over the coming months, particularly big one coming within the next two weeks.

  • Nordie Northsider

    “Expect many political shocks over the coming months, particularly big one coming within the next two weeks.”

    Oh, do tell.

  • Mick Fealty

    At the party’s Ard Fheis the near term focus was resolutely on the Locals and EP elections. In that respect 2019 is in political terms a long way away. That’s plenty of time to develop a functional offering, or change tack.

    On reasons why, well the one I see most clearly is that nature abhors a vacuum

  • Comrade Stalin

    I don’t think FF are at all serious about this. Why 2019 and not right now ? Is it because they don’t have any candidates ? What’s happening between now and then ?

  • Mick Fealty

    CS,

    In order to build capacity and develop a genuine social presence? The more constructive (and less cynical) question is: why do we need Fianna Fail?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Fianna Fáil started organizing here about five years ago. What have they been doing for the past five years if not that ?

  • Mick Fealty

    I was hoping that someone better qualified than me might have tried to answer your question Comrade.

    Maybe it’s because the answers are both bleedin’ obvious and not a little embarrassing for Fianna Fail that no one has.

    2009 was a black year for the party. Their performance fell from 40 percent around in the generals, just two years before, to 25 percent in the local elections, and was followed 18 months later by a catastrophic fall to 17 per cent and on ceremonious defenestration.

    There. I guess someone had to say it.

    Ever since the Martin project has been about renewal and capacity building. My impression is that they’ve decided that in order to achieve they must begin by going back first principles and working outwards.

    We should remember that it was the creation of the Northern Ireland state that forced the creation of the party in the first place.

    If anything has hampered the recovery of northern parties like the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP it has been a failure to recognise both the reality and the opportunity their reduced status offers.

    In my reading, these noises are part of a general attempt to return to some of its original and founding principles. That a promise of action has now been concretised by the party leader is a significant development.

    Even if there’s something more than a little Augustinian about it!

    But who’s that unfolds depends on its ability to answer my prior question (which no one has addressed): ie, does NI ‘need’ FF? Or indeed another member of the ALDE group at the EP?

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Many posters are saying that the only reason FF are moving north is to counter SF. I might argue (at risk of giving a party without any apparent principles some) that Fianna Fáil has constantly styled itself ‘The Republican Party’ (although that motto had been reduced to a barely visible line on party publications/posters during the boom years). Wouldn’t the obvious first step for ‘THE’ republican party be to run on an All Ireland party? Isn’t this Me-hole Martin shunning the fat-cat image of FF during the 90/00s and returning to FFs root principles?

  • Mick Fealty

    DB,

    Nordie Northsider covers most of those bases pretty well, and I’d agree there’s nothing in the fight for FF if it is only a counter to SF moving to the south.

    The announcement of 2019 took a lot of people by surprise, but when you look at it, it makes some strategic sense. The party has accumulated activists over the last five years, who have nothing to do at the moment.

    Sending them into an Assembly or a council election where we could tot up the casualties (of which in a first bid for a beachhead there are likely to be more than a few) and set a narrative trap for them that would be hard for them to undo.

    But a Euro election is low key and they’d only be running a single candidate.

    Flagging it now, before this Euro election means that activists have immediately got something to get their heads around: ie, how the hell does this thing work? What gets talked about? And what issues move votes and where?

    They also have five years to find a candidate of sufficient quality to give the others (none of whom are a Mairead McGuinness, a Marian Harkin or a Pat the Cope) a serious run for their money.

    No one will expect them to win, but the NI end of the party will have to get down to building a machine capable of delivering votes in certain target hotspot areas in an election that by and large in which not a great deal is at stake in.

    By then they’ll know either that there’s little point in going further, or they (and their rivals) will have a clearer idea what level of threat a northern FF actually poses.

    I’d add that they will have the advantage of not having to work under the spell of Stormont groupthink in which fines paid out for non co-operation between two or more departments are written off by the PAC whilst the minutest details are picked through on ‘other people’s patches’.

    What they have to do and do it well is take the opportunity for what it is. Serious disruption of the northern status quo will not come easily or cheaply.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick,

    My view is that if there is a viable base for Fianna Fáil here, it would be here already and they wouldn’t need to wait.

    I mean, even NI21 for all their various faults – did not exist a year ago, and yet are preparing to contest two election this year. FF have been here for longer than that and apparently haven’t been making any preparations at all.

    I think they’re just fobbing people off in the same way the UK Labour Party does.

  • Mick Fealty

    You could be right but the analogy with Labour is a little flawed not least since this was an actual announcement the party will contest in 2019.

    Yet it has to be admitted that politicians say lots of things that they don’t really mean or that they haven’t really thought through.

    David Cameron and Anna Lo are two examples that readily come to mind. :-)

    They need a story. Beyond the enthusiasm of their supporters, what theirs is in NI is not yet obvious to me.

    They must figure why NI actually needs them. If they can answer that early enough in the cycle, they might have a story tell that people actually care about.

    Which would, of course, set them apart from most of the incumbents.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s like when you tell a small child “you can have it in six months” knowing by then it will have been forgotten about.

  • Mick Fealty

    Some of us have memories which are longer than that of a goldfish! ;-)

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    I still think that this is all part of a brand regeneration by Martin. In the greater scheme of things (and excuse me for sounding idealistic), the southern move north points to the normalisation of NI politics along policy lines rather than tribal lines. Now is the perfect time for the FF/FG/Labs of this world to co-operate with the Tories/Lab/Lib Dems to organise in the North. Would that not be part and parcel of a ‘shared future’ – Irish and British parties in Stormont, Irish and British Parties in Europe, and the possibility of a choice for elected reps to attend Westminister or Leinster House? Pie-in-the-Sky?

  • Coll Ciotach

    I could point out that this is not the first time that FF have said 2019, in the Newry Democrat 19 Nov 2013 he also was reported to say it. So he seems to be serious about this. However it may not be in his gift to deliver so the promise means nothing.

    To me I agree they have to decide their narrative. For social conservative nationalists like me if they make a stand against abortion and the so called marriage between those of the same gender they are to be supported. No matter what they cannot be the same as the others, they do need a unique selling point.

    2019 on the other hand is realistic, they need to get candidates, build their profile, get policies and start knocking doors and sorting flooded drains not to mention filling in DLA forms.

    As far as “where have you been” jibe from SF. Apart from nursemaiding SF the answer is simple, they have been in the south representing Irish people when you weren’t and have just been slower than recognising the Northern state than you were.

    So that would hardly be a killer blow.

    A welcome development if genuine, cynical if not. Time alone will tell.

    By the way – any comment from the Doctor? He surely would know more than the rest of us.

  • arac

    The poor sods having that lot inflicted on them at elections.

  • Morpheus
  • FuturePhysicist

    FF have no choice. In a UI scenario SF would be the biggest party on the island, so FF have to position themselves now in preparation. Its clear we are entering the endgame stage visa vis partition. Expect many political shocks over the coming months, particularly big one coming within the next two weeks.

    1. Sinn Féin and their cohorts in the IRA have been the main obstacle to Irish unity.
    2. Sinn Féin are a saturated force up North and are tarred to sectarian lines because even if they weren’t blacked by the IRA they are still considered the most anti-Protestant party in any part of Ireland.
    3. Sinn Féin WERE the biggest party in Ireland, they used violence, they used authority, they used rhetoric about equality and leadership and Irish patriotism and what did it achieve? A divided Ireland and a divided Sinn Féin leading to Fianna Fáil in the first place. What has Sinn Féin nua tried now that Sinn Féin oige didn’t?

  • Charles_Gould

    Setting a target of five years away for a political leader not likely to last that long is – a signal that it’s not important to him.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The notion that we are coming anywhere near to a UI scenario is rather amusing. Equally amusing, and rather tragic at the same time, is that some people think that a UI will be a straightforward merging of the two states which will happen overnight, rather than a rather long and drawn out series of negotiations culminating in significant constitutional change for the whole island.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Comrade Stalin

    “The notion that we are coming anywhere near to a UI scenario is rather amusing.”

    Coming from you that is not a surprising assertion.

    The reality is that most things are increasing carried out on an all Island basis. How many of the issues below do you think are carried out on an “Northern Ireland” only basis?

    “Issues on which the Northern Ireland Assembly has full legislative powers:

    health and social services
    education
    employment and skills
    agriculture
    social security
    pensions and child support
    housing
    economic development
    local government
    environmental issues, including planning
    transport
    culture and sport
    the Northern Ireland Civil Service
    equal opportunities
    justice and policing”

  • Neil

    Worth bearing in mind the the Dail has 166 seats. So for the sake of argument in a UI NI (or Ulster if you prefer) could expect a maximum of 55 seats, of which SF would take at current figures (assuming a load of current SF voters didn’t decide one of the existing Southern parties was a better option – which I wouldn’t rule out) 14 seats. Tack that 14 onto their current total in the Dail of 20 and you have a solid second place party on 34, still a long way short of FG on 68. I seriously doubt that the Dail would anticipate having 108 seats for the North added onto the mere 166 which covers the remaining three quarters of the island. That would be tail wagging dog stuff, and unthinkable.

  • Comrade Stalin

    McS,

    We’ve been through this before. Nothing of note has been done on an all-Ireland basis. There’s been stuff to do with fisheries but that’s about it. You won’t hear the SDLP or Sinn Féin listing all the cool stuff they sorted out with the cross border bodies – because they haven’t accomplished anything.

    I’m not at all against things being done all-Ireland where it makes sense. I think there should be more of it than there is at present, where it is practical. It’s common sense and is nothing to do with the debate on whether or not there should be a UI which runs substantially deeper.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “The more constructive (and less cynical) question is: why do we need Fianna Fail?”

    @Mick,

    In other words, doesn’t NI have enough economically illiterate parties full of corrupt politicians who engage in empty patriotic posturing of its own?

  • Mc Slaggart

    @CS

    Minister reports on North South meeting on EU funding

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/northern-ireland-26718939

    Worth seeing it puts everything in context.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Neil,

    Again I ask the question, even if by some miracle Sinn Fein do get a majority in the Republic, what are they going to do differently from the older Sinn Fein to unify Ireland? Nothing!

    At best they wise up, sterilise the IRA connections and achieve a goal of being a new FF until the electorate rejects them, at worst they take their IRA apologist behaviour southward, make the place even more a cold house for Protestants and IRA victims and facilitate anti-principle of consent republicans to increase violence to “finish the job”

    Irish unity would come from a unity of people, not merely republicans in power. There would need to be compromises that Sinn Féin have to be prepared to make that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were not prepared to do so to achieve that.

  • Comrade Stalin

    McSlaggart,

    My question still stands. We’ve had 16 years or so of the cross-border bodies in existence and on and off about 8 years or so of devolution. Exactly what is there to show for it ?

    Is the nationalist ambition for closer ties with the RoI limited to regulating waterways and building the odd road traffic bridge ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    FP,

    Events tend to take place in unexpected ways. It shows limited thinking when people anticipate that life in Ireland will continue on pretty much as normal except without the line drawn on the map. There is likely to be significant political upheaval in ways that cannot be anticipated yet.

    Fianna Fáil are certainly not idiots and they know their business; I don’t think they, deep down, anticipate a united Ireland for many decades. Bigger fish to fry first, such as getting themselves reinstalled to government in Ireland.

  • Charles_Gould

    FG have passed a motion this year stating they were to consider entering the NI electoral process.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2014/03/01/fine-gael-to-consider-contesting-elections-in-the-north-fgaf14/

  • Mc Slaggart

    CS

    ” We’ve had 16 years or so of the cross-border bodies in existence and on and off about 8 years or so of devolution.”

    Its all part of political unionism great idea to make Northern Ireland not work. The Assembly does not do anything of value. They could not even get a joint “national” stadium. When its finished the “National stadium” of northern Ireland will be built by the GAA.

    Its the boring economic effect of needing to make savings that is making the border disappear.

  • Comrade Stalin

    McS,

    You’re avoiding my question.

  • Mc Slaggart

    health and social services
    Becoming increasing integrated for example when letterkenny hospital had an issue over the summer half their clients went as planned to Derry.

    education
    Lots going on for example:
    http://www.communityni.org/organisation/tyrone-donegal-partnership#.Uzhrg_ldU3U

    employment and skills
    As northern Ireland is basically not working increasing the jobs will come from the south. BTW: British middle ranking jobs in Northern Ireland will mostly vanish in the next few years due to Technology changes.

    agriculture
    virtually all the firms effectively work on an all Island basis.

    social security
    pensions and child support
    That funded by the English and good for them :-)

    housing
    Ask the people of Castlederg who complain of the free state influx.

    economic development
    We are the poor relation to what is going on in the rest of the Island. This will not change any time soon due to the mess NI politicians are making of the place.

    local government
    What do you think is going to happen with the new “green” border.

    environmental issues, including planning

    ……
    justice and policing

    The people of parts of Donegal are pushing to get the PSNI to cover parts of their county.

  • Mick Fealty

    I was waiting all the way through reading that list for a mention of politics McS. And mention came there none until “the mess NI politicians are making of the place”.

    Does this suggest a need, or at least a fillable deficit for FF to aim at fulfilling?

  • Mick Fealty

    This story suggests there are a some small scale end of the line cross border actions, for which there is little strategic political input to deal with:

    It reads to me as a last ditch effort, but one which will likely destroy a small high quality brand of cheese in Fermanagh and Tyrone…

  • Mc Slaggart

    @Mick

    Politcs is all about influencing other people.

    One major impact of this is the economy of Northern Ireland is much smaller than it could be due to previous intransigence/resistance to all Ireland economy from the Unionist parties.

    The politics/requirements of the EU/UK government is walking all over the petty talking shop called Stormont.

  • Mick Fealty

    I visited Fivemiletown about 2007 when it had just won orders for its brie in one of Paris’ leading department stores, after a trade mission organised by the taoiseach.

    There appears to be little indigenous northern policy intervention companies like Fivemiletown have been left with little strategic or political support.

    Surely that could be a space for an engaged political project to look for and build upon synergies our own guys are either inert or adverse to?

  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Any hope of an election in the north around 2030 where FF/FG/Labour face of with UK Labour/Tories/Lib Dems/UKIP for primacy in the North, with FF/DUP/TUV etc fighting for the margins?

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    “There appears to be little indigenous northern policy intervention companies like Fivemiletown have been left with little strategic or political support.”

    Firstly the Agri-food is an Island wide business.

    Secondly I knew that they was in trouble when they was looking towards invest ni etc

    Thirdly it takes a big company to deal with the large supermarkets. They are extremely difficult to deal with and make a profit. They need to sell to a company who can make a profit.

  • Mick Fealty

    McS,

    1, Up to a point, yes. Which is why I thought it could be a useful point of attack for any southern party coming north. Interests are contiguous, but as we saw from the way the Dioxin scare in the Republic, powers aren’t. Ministers O’Neill and Foster have powers and responsibilities Minster Coveney does not.

    2, Yep, last gasp and desperate. which may also go to demonstrate the lack of policy infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

    3, Agreed, but where was the scalling policy. And why are the artisan cheeses of west Cork and the likes not struggling quite in the same way?

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    “Up to a point, yes.”

    ?

    It is a full on tooth and nail all Island fight. Glanbia is fighting with Strathroy (omagh based) over milk in Wexford.

    http://www.agriland.ie/news/strathroy-says-ifa-levies/

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    “why are the artisan cheeses of west Cork and the likes not struggling quite in the same way”

    Cork is economically very strong with people having high income. Lots of high end restaurants with lots of michelin star places to sell your products….

    http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Restaurants/Restaurants-Cork-_-Cork-Ireland?strLocid=31NDFxaXgxMGNOVEV1T0RrM09EYz1jTFRndU5E

    Northern Ireland have grown men sitting in a caravan having a huff.

  • Mick Fealty

    And indoor rallies on council property? Isn’t this part of the problem?

    Fermanagh is a tourist gem. The wealth profile of the people it draws is much higher than other parts of NI. Scaling that’ll mean developing confidence and communal trust.

    That’s not the project I see at play. Of course Fivemiletown like other small businesses has to make most of the running itself. But West Cork didn’t become prosperous and enterprising overnight.

    Redeveloping the west requires a politics that seeks to help build on the enterprise and endeavour of its people rather than cultivating the destroying instincts of the past.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    “And indoor rallies on council property? ”

    Commemorating the IRA is a republican tradition. You may not like it but its legal.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Mick

    “Fermanagh is a tourist gem.”

    I do know it well and it does not get that big a crowd. You will find pictures of people rioting over a flag on the street is one big issue not people marching inside buildings.

  • Mc Slaggart

    “West Cork didn’t become prosperous and enterprising overnight. ”

    Tyrone and Fermangh are both very enterprising counties. Tyrone is a world leader in some fields of engineering. For example the manufacturers of mobile screening equipment for the quarry Industries. Strathroy was founded and is omagh based a major player in the Irish milk industry.

    “Redeveloping the west” is going along fine. We do need the politicians to at the very least get their act and stop all the crying about needing to march every place in the north east.

  • http://nwhyte.livejournal.com Nicholas Whyte

    Dev, of course, stood as a Fianna Fáil candidate for Stormont in 1933, and won – as discussed in this 2006 Slugger thread.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ha, thanks Nicholas… This from Keith M has a familiar ring to it…

    “They seemed to believe that it was only a matter of time for Northern Ireland to follow their lead and leave the U.K. In doing so they failed to fully engage in Northern Irish politics and handed the governance of the country to unionists, without any coherent opposition, something which didn’t work to the advantage of either community in the longer term.”

  • Mc Slaggart

    Keith M I do not know but it has been said that gerrymandering was a major issue for areas in which nationalism was strong. If it did take place it would have had a major impact on the outlook of nationalists towards the British idea of the “democratic” process.

    ““Gerrymandering”
    is also done at a local level when one Conservative and
    Unionist vote is often equivalent to two opposition votes (please see the example overleaf in the Londonderry statistics).
    This is achieved in three ways: (i) by housing all the
    Nationalisms in one large ward and keeping the other wards small and predominantly Conservative and Unionist; (ii) by means of the “Company vote.” For every £10 Poor Law Valuation of premises tenanted by a Limited Company, the Company is entitled to one extra vote up to a limit of six votes, e.g., a firm with 100 branches can control 600 extra votes at local elections. (There are very few Nationalist Limited Companies
    as these people have been kept poor and underprivileged and are treated as “second class citizens” by the Conservative and Unionist Community); (iii) in order to squeeze out the Nationalists and force them to emigrate the Unionist controlled councils build very few houses for Nationalists. The latter are kept on waiting lists for up to twelve years, whilst safe Conservative and Unionist voters receive houses in the same town even before they are married. (Dungannon details overleaf prove these points.)
    There is practically no representation of the minority on the Boards of Public Bodies, consequently virtually all the ‘plum’ jobs from Consulting Surgeons to Town Clerks go to Conservative and Unionists.

    Even the opportunity to work is denied first to Nationalists. As a result of this they make up by far the biggest proportion of the ‘dole’ queues, and are forced to emigrate—to suit the Government voting policy.”

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/events/crights/pdfs/csj179.pdf