Doherty defends Commons seat…

PAT Doherty MP is to defend his West Tyrone seat for Sinn Fein at the next Westminster election.

Doherty said:

“Our objective in these forthcoming elections is to consolidate the 4 Westminster seats that we secured in 2001 and to win additional Westminster seats. In terms of the local elections our aim is to win a substantial number of additional Council seats including here in West Tyrone.

“We are not building political strength for the sake of it. We are building political strength throughout this island as part of a strategy to bring about Irish re-unification and true equality for all the citizens on the Island.

“For differing reasons our political and securocrat opponents are united in the objective of attempting to put the brakes on Sinn Féin’s electoral and organisational growth.

“The NIO’s top securocrat Joe Pilling stated, at what he thought was a private meeting in the US in October, that the worst case scenario would be that Sinn Féin would become the largest party in the north and that the priority was to stop this happening.

“The full frontal onslaught now being rolled out against Sinn Féin is therefore no co-incidence.

“However, what our political and securocrats opponents have not learned, despite all the lessons from history, is that republicans thrive on adversity.

“It is expected that both the Westminster and local elections will be held on May 5th. No one here needs to be told the significance of this date in the republican calendar. The British failed to undermine or criminalize the republican struggle in 1981 it will fail again. “

  • Sam Maguire

    There are rumours that Deeny is considering standing in West Tyrone, but the fact is, short of Peter Canavan standing as an independent, that Doherty can only increase his majority. There was minimal SDLP effort last May for the Euro elections and they seem to have given up the ghost regarding West Tyrone.

    The most interesting rumour though, is that Martin McGuinness is to return to Foyle to go head to head with Durkan, with Joe Brolly, former Derry GAA star and son East Derry MLA Francie, taking the reins from Martin McGuinness in Mid Ulster.

  • cg

    “There are rumours that Deeny is considering standing in West Tyrone”

    I honestly think If Deeney stood it would be political suicide.

    “The most interesting rumour though, is that Martin McGuinness is to return to Foyle to go head to head with Durkan, with Joe Brolly, former Derry GAA star and son East Derry MLA Francie, taking the reins from Martin McGuinness in Mid Ulster.”

    Not likely seeing as Mitchel has spent a lot of time preparing his base in Foyle. If (when) Durkan loses the Foyle seat for the sdlp it’s the end of his leadership and possibly the sdlp… a sad day

  • Keith M

    Were Deeney to stand it would certainly put it up to the SDLP and the unionist parties to stand aside. SF has about a 40% share here, enough to guarantee them the seat in a 3 way contest but making a head-to-head with Deeney too close to call.

    As for McGuinness going back to Foyle, I can’t see it. I believe that if Durkan can put distance between the SDLP and SF/IRA, he can hold this seat. The SDLP has always outscored SF here. The gap may be narrowing, but everyone seems to forget the big unionist vote here. If it appears to be a close run thing, then UUP voters could well switch to Durkan, shades of West Belfast 1992.

    I actually think that SF might not make any overall gain in May if (but only if) the SDLP get their act together. Durkan can hold Foyle. McGrady will hold, especially if Ruane is the SF candidate. Mallon’s seat is gone. Where SF are vunerable is Fermanagh/South Tyrone where they are stuck on 34%. A good single unionist candidate should be able to take that seat, mind you such a candidate mind be hard to find.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I honestly think If Deeney stood it would be political suicide.

    He has nothing to lose but his deposit, and that is very unlikely. It would seem unlikely for him to contest his Stormont seat again, so why wouldn’t he stand?

  • Sam Maguire

    Keith, I seriously doubt that there will be a unity unionist candidate in FST, Arlene Foster has the seat in her sights, and the UUP see FST as there natural territory. There is way too much dissention between the UUP and the DUP to get a clear run for either.

    Re: McGuinness, I only heard it was a rumour, but the fact remains, Sinn Fein can get any candidates, for all intents and purposes, elected in Mid Ulster, and I doubt if Durkan could hold on against McGuinness in Foyle, whereas he has maybe a 50/50 opportunity against McLaughlin. In the SF position it makes sense to make the switch.

  • Sam Maguire

    Michael, Why wouldn’t Deeny contest the assembly again where he realistically could get re-elected next time out if the Omagh hospital position isn’t resolved. *IF* he stood in the Westminster election which I doubt, it’s debatable whether he’d get any more than 2000 votes in a first past the post election where he has no chance

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    Why would the SDLP stand aside for Deeney when you alleged a week ago that they were considering a pact with SF. Not very consistent.

  • Michael Shilliday

    I would say the hospital issue would be resolved if the next elections aren’t for another 3/4 years – I reckon at the min howwever he would have a reasonable chance, look at Wyre Forest! I still say he has nothing to lose.

  • Keith M

    Pat McL, to use that famous quote “a week is a long time in politics”. The story about the SDLP doing a deal with SF/IRA was as I stated using the assumption that SF/IRA were prepared to fully decommission by May. Given what’s happened in the last week, I think an SDLP-SF pact is as likely as the UUP overtaking the DUP (the political equivilent of a snowball’s chance in hell).

    The SDLP have nothing to lose by giving Deeney a free run. They are not going to win the seat and by canvassing for him they show that local issues are important to them.

  • Henry94

    There is a one item agenda for nationalists in the May elections and that is to bury exclusion as a political concept forever.

    The SDLP will be buried with it unless they make it crystal clear that going into government without Sinn Fein is not an option for them.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pat gives a name in there. Joe Pilling. Who is he?

  • Davros

    P.U.S. at the N.I.O, recently criticised by Martin McGuinness

  • New Yorker

    Post the Northern Bank job, SF has lost all support except for the “loonies” – the suckers and fools. They are not a credible party in the Catholic community. The assumption that they would hold the percentage of support before the bank heist is erroneous. They are down to a few miserable percentage points in the greater Catholic community.

  • J Kelly

    In case anybody has missed something SF in Foyle have nominated Mitchel McLaughlin and clearly dismissed the nonsense that Martin McGuinness will run in Foyle. Another small but interesting point Joe Brolly has recently won damages against a newspaper for these allegations.

    The main point of this is how many seats SF will have on the 6th of May I would suggest 7. New Yorker maybe the SF has dropped in your precinct but it will not be affected in Derry were I live. At least Durkan will now have his time occupied with other things when he retires from politics in May.

  • Davros

    Whu=ich newspaper JK ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    I questioned the authenticity and veracity of your original post on a pact knowing full well that no one within the SDLP leadership has ever advocated such a route. At the time I found you ‘source’, an alleged ex party worker, less than convincing.
    Your change of direction justifies my decision to do so.

  • TroubledTimes

    Pat Doherty will win this seat without a problem. Thats the bottom line. Sinn Fein will continue to do well electorally until the Catholic community finally understand how two faced they are.
    While they stand in your doorstep with a pleasant smile and a voting paper,men of the same belief stand in your alleyways and threaten people.
    Until the people see the truth they will continue to blindly vote the party of false aspirations.

  • Young Republican

    let deeney stand if he has the balls to. Pat will win this seat against anyone.

    remember how the sdlp parachuted rodgers in at the last election? the two attwoods running around in their pretty little suits laughing at SF’s election team.

    this happening when the ordinary working class men and women were out on the doorsteps overseeing an election landslide. the good people of West Tyrone proudly nailed their colours to the mast by electing Doherty.

    the sdlp’s stalingrad indeed. what a disaster for the stoops.

    it will turn out the same for the doctor too, and nothing would give me greater staisfaction.