Row rumbles on.

The ever excellent Newshound carries an Irelandclick.com report of trouble in Sinn Féin’s ranks, Anger as Sinn Féin members step down, with Sean Hayes openly criticising what he called the disenfranchisement of voters in South East Belfast, Markets and Ormeau Road, and multiple resignations in protest at the recent suspensions from the party.

However,despite such unusually forthright criticism, he is still calling for people to vote Sinn Féin on May 5th.

“Of course it’s natural for people to get angry about this. I have had many people who supported Deirdre approaching me and saying that they are not going to vote for Sinn Féin now.

“But whatever has happened, Sinn Féin are still the only party who can deliver services and resources to the community.

“We must now work on rebuilding local membership and strengthening our grass roots base.”

It will be interesting to see if Mr Hayes comments will be remembered by the leadership in future.

  • kitty

    “However,despite such unusually forthright criticism, “
    and
    “It will be interesting to see if Mr Hayes comments will be remembered by the leadership in future.”

    What are you inferring here Ambrose? Do you think for one minute that Sinn Fein do not meet and hear criticism/ debate on a regular basis from its own members? What do you think the Ard Fheis and oher conferences are all about? I would suggest that the reason Sinn Fein are such a successful political party is because criticism and debate on issues is a very intregal part of the party.

    One party member, Councillor Sean Keenan, went against the party line in the past – he openly criticised the IRA for bombing the Falls baths. As a result he was cast out into the wilderness. Can you give any other examples of SF officials openly criticising the party? And if so, how did it affect their political careers? A.U.

  • Davros

    Rathenraw ?

    Meanwhile, a serious schism has emerged inside Sinn Fein in Antrim Town. An entire branch of the party has resigned in protest over a row on the Rathenraw estate in recent weeks. The argument with the Sinn Fein leadership in Belfast began following disagreements over what to do about a woman on the estate whose partner was arrested with half a million pounds’ worth of ecstasy tablets. Locals backed by Antrim Sinn Fein representatives asked the woman to leave the Rathenraw but the republican leadership in Belfast ordered the local party branch to back her right to stay. Apart from resignations including a number of election candidates there have been allegations that a Belfast Sinn Fein member issued death threats to his former comrades on the Antrim estate.

  • headmelter

    Maybe some people acted in a self riteous fashion in Rathenraw but there was, in the past, a serious problem with drugs, which i’m sure the residents did not want to be associated with.This along with the fact he was running an errand for local loyalists is the reason why the individuals partner was asked to leave the area.This is an issue the residents of Rathenraw should have addressed without Sinn Feinn.
    Rathenraw does not have a monopoly on Republicanism in Antrim and the Shinners may just increase there vote here now that some of these people are no longer involved.

  • headmelter

    Davros
    the incident in Antrim took place months ago and it was £200,000 worth of ectasy.

  • headmelter

    Davros
    the incident in Antrim took place months ago and it was £200,000 worth of ectasy.It is amazing how some facts can be exaggerated over a short space of time.

  • Davros

    Headmelter , there are a couple of relevent points-

    In this case SF cumann fell foul of HQ – which rather undermines the claims made above that people are free to dissent within the organisation.
    Secondly – it was SF HQ that was going soft on Drugs, not the local cumann.

    We didn’t quite get to the level of violence as seen in the ROI where mention of drugs in connection with a SF bigwig led to an assault.

    Of course these were private disagreements that spilled over into the public domain. What’s unusual about the article blogged is that Sean Hayes has publicly criticised the party. Surprised that it was carried in IrelandClick.
    The only other time I know of that a SF official has spoken out against the Party Line was when Sean Keenan committed political suicide by criticising the IRA for the Falls bath Bomb that Killed two people, something that Gerry Adams refused to condemn.

  • Davros

    Headmelter – the amount of Ecstasy involed was indeed significant – and thus it’s even more interesting that the local SF – who wanted a hard line taken, were booted into touch by HQ. This wasn’t SF HQ clamping down on a rogue cumann that was in any way soft on drugs. Quite the reverse.

  • Mark McGregor

    AU,

    I don’t know why, but I find replying through edits on the end of contributions unsettling.

    Mark.

  • Mick

    I’ll second that.

  • Ambrose Uprichard

    I don’t see why – It’s extremely rare and it’s made perfectly clear that it is a reply to a question or challenge. I’m still not used to the new easy-use system. But of course Mick has the final say.

    Obviously this part doesn’t apply to Mick, but it is interesting there has been no attempt to address the issue raised and I’m tempted to believe that the complaint is more because of an awkward reply than how the reply was delivered.

  • HappyDays!

    The Sunday Independent writes today;

    “…one of the key figures involved in the Robert McCartney murder has never held a fulltime job in his life yet owns two homes in Belfast and has three holiday homes on the Co.Down coast”.

    Hopefully the Assests Recovery Agency will start proceedings to investigate this matter.

  • Mick

    Ambrose, none of the conventions we use are cast in stone of course. I think it’s ok to use that technique where someone is in breach of the Slugger rule. But you should really reply in the conventional way if you want to make a point in the flow of the argument. It may not have been the intent, but it gives the impression that you’re overriding someone else’s political view.

  • Ambrose Uprichard

    But you should really reply in the conventional way if you want to make a point in the flow of the argument.

    Point taken Mick. Hadn’t adjusted to the new system. As long as there’s no insinuation that the post to which I was answering had been tampered with in order to take an unfair advantage. I wasn’t making a point in the flow of the argument, I clarifying my blog in response to the question asked by the poster.

    I’ll be interested to see if any posters address the issue now that we have dealt with this.

  • kitty

    “One party member, Councillor Sean Keenan, went against the party line in the past – he openly criticised the IRA for bombing the Falls baths. As a result he was cast out into the wilderness. Can you give any other examples of SF officials openly criticising the party? And if so, how did it affect their political careers? A.U.”

    so, AU, I should expect you to prove the councillor was cast out into the wilderness by Sinn Fein for his criticism?
    By the way, although your response was in an unusal format, I am quite at ease with it, and you certainly did not temper with my post.

  • kitty

    “Can you give any other examples of SF officials openly criticising the party?”

    I can immediately think of John Kelly who criticised and resigned.I can think of less public members who criticise on a regular basis and either leave or stay.
    Now Can you give any other examples of DUP, UUP, Alliance, SDLP, etc etc officials openly criticising the party? What happened to them?#
    Thanks.

  • A.U.

    What happens in other parties is off topic for this blog.

  • A.U.

    I can think of less public members who criticise on a regular basis and either leave or stay

    Can you name some who have publicly criticised the party and stayed ? The point of the blog is that is exceedingly rare for Party officials to publicly dissent.

  • kitty

    AU-“What happens in other parties is off topic for this blog.”

    Oh I see! LOL
    But surely in oder for your criticism to be valid, or evenhanded( ahem) you would present a comparison to other parties? perhaps we can look forward to you doing that in the near future?

    AU-“Can you name some who have publicly criticised the party and stayed ? The point of the blog is that is exceedingly rare for Party officials to publicly dissent.”

    why would any party including Sinn fein have Party officials who dissent publicily to their own policy? Quite ridiculous thought that. Why would they be party officilas to begin with?

    And I ask you again AU,can you prove the councillor was cast out into the wilderness by Sinn Fein for his criticism? Or is this simply your own speculation?

  • kitty

    The point of the blog is that is exceedingly rare for Party officials to publicly dissent.

    On some level I would agree with that- but again I would apply that to all parties worldewide. Usually when an official disagrees vehemently with policy they either- Don’t belong to that party to begin with OR they leave ( Jeffrey Donaldson and Arlene Foster come to mind). I am not sure why you would think Sinn Fein are any different in this respect, or why someone would even be a member of a party whose policy they strongly oppose. That makes no sense.
    Looking forward to your explanation.

  • A.U.

    I don’t think you understand how this site works kitty.

  • mucher

    A.U. give up! Kitty will defend S.F./I.R.A. in all circumstances and will never, never admit they can be wrong about anything. On one blog
    kitty claims to know members who criticised and stayed but when asked to name them says “If they critise why should they stay”.

  • mucher

    typo- should be criticise. Sorry!

  • kitty

    “I don’t think you understand how this site works kitty.”

    Oh I think I do. You make claims then when asked to substantiate them you respond as in the above. BTW, I see the SDLP is to take disciplinary action against Gerry O’Doherty in West Tyrone. What do you make of that.

  • kitty

    “A.U. give up! Kitty will defend S.F./I.R.A.”

    You are making a guess not a factual statement there. I am in fact very critical of Sinn fein for many things.

    “in all circumstances and will never, never admit they can be wrong about anything.”

    Sinn Fein are quite wrong on amny issues, like every political party. Isn’t the point of a party to discuss, debate, agree disagree on issues?

    “On one blog
    kitty claims to know members who criticised and stayed but when asked to name them says “If they critise why should they stay”.”

    Ah members/ officials- you do know the difference right? For example, when SF decided to abandon the abstentionist policy down south, some members left, some stayed- some even stayed while disagreeing in principle to what SF had done. An OFFICIAL of a party is a quite different matter altogether.
    Now can any of you answer the question- is this type of outspokeness tolerated in other parties- or is it just SF who would discipline/oust/reprimand etc etc a member for being a public critic of their own party politics. Or will your bigotry prevent you from providing an answer?

  • A.U.

    What do you make of that.

    I’m not here to answer your questions kitty.
    You do not have the right to cross-examine.
    I blog and I moderate.

  • JD

    You do not have the right to cross-examine.

    ????

    Eh, I’m not sure what to make of this…

    On topic: most political parties do not tolerate open criticism and defiance. Why do you think all political parties need whips?

  • kitty

    AU”I don’t think you understand how this site works kitty.”

    THEN
    AU “I’m not here to answer your questions kitty.
    You do not have the right to cross-examine.
    I blog and I moderate.”

    I thnk we all get the picture here AU. You made claims, then when asked the logical questions, regarding parties and dissent, you balked and attmepted to insult, by suggesting I do not understand the purpose of this site.
    I think I understand the purpose well, but I think I understand your agenda even better.
    Thanks!

    Then JD:
    “On topic: most political parties do not tolerate open criticism and defiance. Why do you think all political parties need whips?”

    LOL you would think so wouldn’t you? LOL