Dissent in the ranks for SF

A very interesting statement from Sean Hayes, one of the Sinn Féin party members suspended after the Robert McCartney murder, in this report from Irelandclick.com – transcribed by the eagle-eyed Newshound. Although he ends with a rallying cry for Sinn Féin, he’s critical of the party’s decision to suspend him and Deirdre Hargey, and the report claims that other party members have resigned in protest. Sean Hayes also states “I have had many people who supported Deirdre approaching me and saying that they are not going to vote for Sinn Féin now.” and, worryingly for Sinn Féin in the teeth of an election, “Thanks to this, the party in south east Belfast and the Ormeau Road has been effectively shut down.”

  • Davros

    Snap ! 😉

  • PS

    “Thanks to this, the party in south east Belfast and the Ormeau Road has been effectively shut down.”

    I have to dispute this. Sinn Féin on the Ormeau Road are functioning perfectly well and is being used as the base for SF canvassing in the area.

  • Davros

    Paddy – are these different cumainn ?

  • PS

    South/ East Belfast is the comhairle ceanntar area and the Ormeau Rd is a specific cumann, both of which are still operating effectively.

  • Davros

    Thanks Paddy.

  • tomasmaguire

    “People in the Markets were expecting big things from Deirdre, who is young, dynamic and has no baggage whatsoever.”

    Despite Seán Hayes grievances, he provides a very revealing insight into the Sinn féin 2005 mindset, for those missing the point ‘no baggage whatsoever’ = no pre-1994 movement history ie no republican credentials, a lilly white to best sell the new millenium Sinn Féin to the middle class ‘middle of the road’ electorate … what then for the seasoned campaigners of over twenty years service? The backbone of the party, the grassroots activists, the non-reconstructed revolutionaries? Relegated to community watch and residents associations and the felons old boys club me thinks !!!

  • willis

    Does South / East include Short Strand?

  • PS

    Willis – Yes

  • willis

    Paddy

    What is your view on the functionality of SF in Short Strand i.e. Has Sean Hayes got it completely wrong?

  • kitty

    I see no indication that this ‘discontent’ will translate into a negative response to Sinn Fein at the polls. The suspensions are warranted as the members, as far as I know, did not come forward immediately after the incident. On the other hand, I can understand their grievances, they had nothing to do with what actually happened in the thug brawl.

  • mucher

    PS Are you a member of S.F.? On your Balrog site you said you had been in the S.F. Ormeau office all week. Why where you there? Just curious

  • willis

    I suppose the question for Sean Hayes is ” What would you and Deirdre Harney need to have done in order not to be suspended? “

  • kitty

    “Despite Seán Hayes grievances, he provides a very revealing insight into the Sinn féin 2005 mindset, for those missing the point ‘no baggage whatsoever’ = no pre-1994 movement history ie no republican credentials, a lilly white to best sell the new millenium Sinn Féin to the middle class ‘middle of the road’ electorate ..

    I think there is some truth to this, but might I ask how does this differentiate Sinn Fein from other parties. I mean, does Paisley put his UVF/UDA affiliates on his election posters? Before you all howl, remember that wee venture one night in Ballymena with the UVF/UDA armed and ready? Does David Trimle put his relationship with Billy Wright on his election posters? Again, remember Trimble and Wright at Portadown?

  • mucher

    You’re right Kitty, after all does Gerry have a photo of himself carrying the Bomber Begley’s coffin on his posters? Come to think of it that would probably increase his vote!

  • kitty

    “Come to think of it that would probably increase his vote!”

    Of course it would! And in my opinion ( watch the uproar) rightly so.

  • barnshee

    So would the DUPers -that would deliver any remaining prods straight to the DUP

  • Pronsias

    I have witnessed older people out canvassing in the Short Strand people who should be in their sick or death beds hitting only every 3rd house which is unlike them so id say things are hard for them this time round they have lost a lot of support because of how THEY handled the “Mc Cartney” saga.

  • tra g

    Pronsias

    I witnessed around two dozen Sinn Fein canvassers going round the area on thursday evening.

    Those people were certainly not ‘old’.

    Although it depends if you class someone in their 30’s as old??

    I would agree that the McCartney death will have an impact within the area but will have little impact outside Short Strand

  • Tomasmaguire

    Kitty,

    In a pragmatic mercenary sense there is nothing wrong with this, simply jettison your baggage to engender popular appeal. However if you actually ‘ARE’ the baggage being jettisoned after giving years and years of service during the darkest of days, only to find you are obsolete simply because your ‘face no longer fits’ is bound to be a very bitter pill to swallow. Particularily when these ‘bright young things’ havent a republican credential between them and in some cases boast about it (no whiff of cordite off me). The party that doggedly persues such a short sighted ‘pragmatic’ agenda might well eventually find itself as far removed from its Irish Republican principles as it is from its ‘baggage’ !!! What then for our Thirty Two County Irish Republic?

    le meas,
    Tomas

  • kitty

    “In a pragmatic mercenary sense there is nothing wrong with this, simply jettison your baggage to engender popular appeal. However if you actually ‘ARE’ the baggage being jettisoned after giving years and years of service during the darkest of days, only to find you are obsolete simply because your ‘face no longer fits’ is bound to be a very bitter pill to swallow. Particularily when these ‘bright young things’ havent a republican credential between them and in some cases boast about it (no whiff of cordite off me). The party that doggedly persues such a short sighted ‘pragmatic’ agenda might well eventually find itself as far removed from its Irish Republican principles as it is from its ‘baggage’ !!! What then for our Thirty Two County Irish Republic? “

    I don’t see any evidence that long time members of the Republican movement have been jettisoned anywhere, that is not my experience at all.Sinn Fein didn’t jettison Joe Cahill(R.I.P) anywhere- the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis is attended by Republicans who have been attending it for eons- long before the rise of SF. They have a huge impact on party policy.
    We are all wont to criticise the SDLP for example for failing to hand oer the reins of the party( notably Hume and Mallon)to up and coming members- which has in itself led to the demise of the SDLP. So what is a party to do? Damned if you do ( if you are SF it seems) and damned if you don’t ( the SDLP?)
    Young people are the future in any political party, and SF have certainly led the pack with youth membership and activism- Ogra Sinn Fein for example.
    However, I do accept that in this present election, SF in Belfast had to do what they had to do by suspending these members. Although, to be quite frank, I am not sure what difference it would have made to their voters anyway, had they not suspended the members.

  • Scarlet

    Tomasmaguire
    Sound observation but in my opinion TRULY ‘bright young things’ would be a lot more careful as to the company they keep.

    “The party that doggedly pursues such a short sighted ‘pragmatic’ agenda might well eventually find itself as far removed from its Irish Republican principles as it is from its ‘baggage’ !!! What then for our Thirty Two County Irish Republic?”

    I agree in another 10 years when the current leadership is over the hill Sinn Fein will be on a par with FF. It will be like New Labour elected by a working class grass roots but will follow a pragmatic agenda. We see it already and as the links with the past lengthen what coherent principle sets this party aside from all others?

  • kitty

    “I agree in another 10 years when the current leadership is over the hill Sinn Fein will be on a par with FF. It will be like New Labour elected by a working class grass roots but will follow a pragmatic agenda. We see it already and as the links with the past lengthen what coherent principle sets this party aside from all others?”

    or they could do what the SDLP did- and face the same future? Most political parties follow a pragmatic agenda, don’t they?

  • tra g

    As someone in my 20’s, and from the area, i find it a difficult time to try and fathom the goings on over the last two months.

    A local lad being murdered from within and the media scrum that followed the death

    The murderers need to be brought to justice and the family deserve closure on this terrible event

    But i also understand those from within my community who’s loved ones died at the hands of loyalist paramilitaries, who were helped in their deeds by members of the british security services

    Are they really expected to help the psni in this investigation

    I personally think not

    In 2002 our community came under sustained attack from loyalists,it lasted for nine months and it was ordinary people like rab mc c. and myself who took to the streets to protect our homes

    During the siege the psni hammered locals in persuit of a british agenda
    (i.e the defeat of a community who dared to stand up to aggression and force the ira to break its ceasefire)

    But perhaps those in the wider community would take time to look into our communities past and also explore why ordinary law abiding people felt they had to take to the streets to protect their homes in 2002

    Justice for all and a recognition of a community who have been used politically to try and force a political and military reaction to a conflict not of their making

    How many columnists and commentators within the press REALLY care about the family and their quest for justice and how many just use it as a tool for their own political agenda.

  • Jonathan McCullough

    One has to wonder what the real agenda of provisional sinn fein/ira is. They make a call for justice to be done if it involves the killing of a member of their own organisation. They have no problem in their members giving evidence in such a case if it would help to imprison a member of Her Majesties Forces. Yet, when their members mutilate a member of their own community, an innocent bystander in a bar, all we hear is a call to forget this ever happened.

  • Pronsias

    Tra

    In 2002 our community came under sustained attack from loyalists,it lasted for nine months and it was ordinary people like rab mc c. and myself who took to the streets to protect our homes.

    Which streets did rab mc c take to. ?

  • tomasmaguire

    Good point well made ‘Tra gar’

    I was down at the prayer vigil for Rab Mc Cartney last Sunday afternoon. I felt I personally wanted to go down and support the family as I feel they are becoming increasingly isolated and will inevitably become more so in the coming weeks and months ahead.

    Why? In my own opinion your general point has the nucleas of the answer. The Mc Cartney family are years ahead of their time in their persuit of justice for their Robert. The thrust + dynamic of their campaign is perfectedly suited to a normal society, conflict free with acountable structures of justice to which we could subscribe whole heartedly.

    All of which belies the real-politic of life in nationalist areas and particularily in the Short Strand which HAS had to endure a practically invisable (shame on us) seige in recent years.

    “During the siege the psni hammered locals in persuit of a british agenda”

    The McCartney family know this is the perception of the Ruc/Psni locally yet in he absence of any alternative are forced to look to the state for justice. Either that or submit to the personal horror of just giving up on their campaign.

    I believe their hearts are pure in all of this but just as their brother was the victim of savage injustice that night outside Maguinesses, they, as do each of us, suffer from an equally damning injustice … the putrid consequences of the British presence in our country !!!

  • Davros

    A good post tomasmaguire, although I don’t agree with everything you write.

  • Cass

    Well written tomasmaguire!! Pity after all this time and how far we think we have come that there is still so much British influence. The attitude towards this was never more apparent to me than when I worked in London and would come back here to visit and I was treated quite often as ‘one of them’. That was all quite a while before the ceasefire but I wonder would it make much difference now? It takes a lot more than a ceasefire in this country to change many peoples attitudes. We should all be free to live our lives as we so choose and none of us have the right to condemn anyone for their personal preference – and personal life should be separate from business life – maybe people should stop being so nosey about other people’s business and take a look at situations closer to home.

  • Levitas

    I don’t think its any secret to anyone in the know that the PSNI are deliberately dragging their feet on this case, and more and more people know that this is where the problem (now) really lies.

  • barnshee

    “more people know that this is where the problem (now) really lies.”

    Really?? Scumbags kill supporter- so what– the problem really lies with those scumbags and their voter support who have attacked the protestant and his wish for separation from catholic republican ireland and her murder gangs. An attack which has been pursued through generations– accompanied with cries and whines when the protestant has the temerity to respond in kind.

  • whatabout

    The PSNI are dragging their feet? Have they had witness statements? Evidence? While they may have suspicion, who would cry foul if they arrested & charged and those charged were remanded in custody during the run up to an election?
    Don’t forget that it’s SF mishandling that started this? They need to assist, but probably won’t until after May 5th.

  • jim

    Brendan Devine has given a full statement to police in which he names those involved in the attack

  • kitty

    “The PSNI are dragging their feet? Have they had witness statements? Evidence? While they may have suspicion, who would cry foul if they arrested & charged and those charged were remanded in custody during the run up to an election?”

    Please, the PSNI/RUC never had much conscience about who they charged and threw in jail before. Guilt/ Innocence was often irrelevant in this state.
    Why now? The Mc Cartney’s and others have clearly implied that those who murdered their brother are known. Have they told the PSNI? Yes! Have the PSNI done anything? No!