De Brun to concentrate on Europe..?

NORMALLY reliable sources have indicated that Sinn Fein Assembly member and MEP Bairbre de Brun is to resign her West Belfast seat very soon to concentrate on Europe. It is likely that Sue Ramsey will replace the former Stormont health minister.

  • Davros

    That’s a shame in many ways. Ms de Brún will be a sad loss to Local politics.

  • willowfield

    You’re taking the piss, right?

  • Davros

    No. Ms de Brún is one of SF’s best politicians IMO.

  • Butterknife

    Don’t take this the wrong way but Sinn Fein is quite responsible when it comes down to representing their constituents.

  • willowfield

    How on earth can anyone think De Brun is one of SF’s best politicians?!

    She’s dreadful: comes across as inarticulate, incapable of spontaneity, and her record as a minister was poor.

  • Butterknife

    But she did manage to relocate the maturity service into her own constituency;)

  • Butterknife

    opps sorry Maternity *cough, damn spellchecker*

  • Fraggle

    so now north belfast has a complete lack of maturity

  • Davros

    It’s what I think WF. I respect and trust her more than I do most other NI politicians.

  • The Renegade

    For one so limited in ability as de Brun, it would take all her concentration on Europe to make any worthwhile impact

  • Rebecca Black

    Maybe the shinners realised that the fact that their representative in Europe was the only Northern Ireland representative to have a dual mandate and thus it’d make them look alot better if Ms De Bruin reduced this to one mandate.

    Sue Ramsay will certainly make an, erm, interesting replacement for her!

  • Keith M

    My understanding is that you could no longer be an MEP and a member of a national parliament. I’m not sure where N.I.’s assembly counts as such but I believe that in this country Mary Lou McDonald will also be concentrating on Europe and non contesting the next general election (where she faced an uphill battle).

  • willowfield

    Regional assemblies don’t count, Keith.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Confirmation from PA/UTV follows, while BBC Newsline has also just carried the news.

    MONDAY 08/11/2004 16:45:45
    de Brun to resign Assembly seat

    A former Sinn Fein minister today confirmed she was quitting Northern Ireland’s assembly to concentrate on her new role as an MEP.
    By:Press Association

    Bairbre de Brun, who won her party`s first European Parliament seat in Northern Ireland in June, resigned as an Assembly member for West Belfast to make way for her party colleague Sue Ramsey.

    The MEP said: “It has been an honour to represent people of West Belfast in the Assembly and I will continue to work hard for this constituency in my new role.

    “However, given the amount of time which is required to effectively represent people across the Six Counties (Northern Ireland) in the European Parliament, I now feel that the only realistic option is to concentrate my time fully on that task.”

    Ms de Brun has served as an Assembly member of West Belfast since 1998.

    During the previous Assembly, she also served as the Stormont Health Minister.

    de Brun sparked controversy when she decided to locate a new maternity hospital at the Royal Group of Hospitals in her constituency.

    As health minister, she also decided to site a hospital for the west of Northern Ireland in Inniskillen, disappointing campaigners in Omagh.

    The Sinn Fein MEP said she had thoroughly enjoyed her time at Stormont, where there had been many high points.

    But she added: “An obvious regret is that the opportunity to bed down political process through the institutions was squandered by the British government at the behest of the leadership of political unionism.

    “Direct rule is bad for the Six Counties. Time and again since the suspension of the political institutions this has become obvious.

    “When allowed to work at all, power-sharing, the equality agenda and the all-Ireland institutions worked well.”

    Ms Ramsey served in the last Assembly as a West Belfast MLA.
    She was the party`s chief whip at Stormont until she lost her seat in last November`s election.

    Sinn Fein Assembly group leader Conor Murphy said: “It has been a privilege working alongside Bairbre, particularly during the time she spent as the minister for health, social services and public safety.”

  • The Devil

    They’re sending De Brun to a concentrate in Europe

    Have the shinners not already sent someone to one of these camps last week

  • The Devil

    When the Sinn Fein leadership decide to gas you from the job, they don’t mess about do they

  • yer_man

    Neither the outgoing or incoming members are hardly what you would call ‘shining lights of talent’ amongst the Northern Ireland politicians.

    Bit of a sweetner for Sue Ramsey after Diane Dodds took her seat last year. There always was the rumour that all was not entirely well within the West Belfast shinners camp and that some of the natives were never too keen on old Babs the blow in from Dublin. Maybe this has been a convenient way to get rid of that.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “Bit of a sweetner for Sue Ramsey after Diane Dodds took her seat last year.”

    Factually incorrect, before the last Assembly elections SF had four seats and the SDLP had two. After the election SF still had four, the SDLP had one and the DUP had one. Therefore applying simple addition and subtraction it can be seen that Dodds actually took the seat from the SDLP.

    There was a change in SF personnel with Michael Ferguson taking the Ramsey seat. Given such a basic error the latter piece about rumours in West Belfast SF can be dismissed as crap.

  • queens_unionist

    Is this an easy way to shove miss brown out of the way and try to replace her with a more competant applicant?

  • willowfield

    Has de Brun actually resigned yet? The Provo web site is rather confusing.

    In the constituency section, both De Brun and Ramsey are listed as MLAs for West Belfast.

    In the candidates section, though, there is no mention of Ramsey being a current member – it merely mentions her election in 1998.

    And in this list of elected representatives, De Brun is still listed, with no mention of Ramsey.

    Even more bizarre is the RTE web site, which seems to have air-brushed Diane Dodds’ election from history – claiming Ramsey was elected in November last, with Dodds not even listed as a candidate!

  • willowfield

    Can anyone advise if De Brun has actually resigned yet?

  • Davros

    Why not e-mail SF ? In all seriousness, I have found them helpful when I have asked for information in the past. Oddly enough the other party that is on the e ball is the DUP.

  • Henry94

    Does the Assembly have to be sitting for an alternate to be appointed?

  • willowfield

    Don’t think so.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I think the RTE website are showing the figures for 1998 and not 2003

  • willowfield

    Well spotted, Michael. But the title is definitely November 2003.

  • Michael Shilliday

    The figures are definatly 1998! Its a shame because the count details on the RTE website are excellent.

  • willowfield

    At the time of the election, the RTE site was excellent. For some reason they have replaced the 2003 figures with the 1998 figures! Why??

  • PS

    To make you feel better WF?