SDLP Chair resigns…?

Just heard on Downtown radio Eddie Espie has just resigned… Details to follow…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    A giant of the political scene who will be missed right across his whole household.

  • SlugFest

    the banner ads on his website are quite amusing.

  • Yokel

    A socialist was Eddie. One of Gerry Fitt’s school (was he really the only one to get a lot of Prods & catholics to vote for him?..David Ford don’t you dare steal that mantle, ya waster).

    I wonder what triggered this?

    Well Pat at least he went out of his household and did something, probably got threatened for it as well in his time. Maybe you are out canavassing for your party and get threatened for it, I don’t know.

  • Yokel is right- Mr Espie was a visionary. It’ll be interesting to see why he quit, and what the outcome will be.

  • urquhart

    Socialist – a visionary? Come on. I’m sure he was a decent guy, but a ‘visionary’?? And on closer inspection, Yokel says nothing of the sort.

    What I can say, is that the reasons for why he quit are, in truth, unlikely to be interesting in the slightest and the ‘outcome’ will be a story in Daily Ireland.

  • Jeremy

    slugfest, well spotted. I wonder will the ARA be cracking down on poor old Eddie for his IRA investment scheme

  • godsdog

    extremely unfair remark considering the number of Sinn Fein workers that were murdered and had their lives threatened on a daily basis

  • Chris Donnelly

    I don’t know the circumstances yet precipitating Eddie Espie’s resignation, but he is certainly following what is becoming a well-trodden path.

    In less than a year, the SDLP has now ‘lost’ to resignations three elected councillors and the party chair (a previous party chair, Billy Leonard, is of course now a sitting councillor for Sinn Fein in Coleraine.)

    The three councillors, all elected on a party ticket less than a year ago and now sitting as Independents, are Kieran Corr (Craigavon), Bobby Loughran and Oran Keenan (both in Antrim, where their desertion from the party has reduced it’s numbers from three to the solitary councillor and MLA, Thomas Burns.

  • Fountain of Knowledge

    Just on a few points of clarification

    Eddie was Vice Chair

    Bobby is still an SDLP councillor who is a member of SDLP South Antrim constituency Council and who has paid his levvy to the party

    and Oran Keenan was expelled

  • Yokel

    Godsdog, my point is to an individual, not any party that he or she may support…..

    What is going on with the SDLP? I have to admit from the outside it does seem to a case of cult of personality..Durkan’s, who genuinely doesnt see that hes been getting over-run or doesn’t care. He does’t seem to carry clout to be honest not even with his friends across the border.

    In days of old the SDLP could influence significantly both governments but I’ve seen nothing much recently that either government is taking notice.

    Sure Westminster 2005 gave him South Belfast but that will reverse in a few years time. The Ulster Unionist drubbing by the DUP is likely to be transient and there will be gains back for the UUP over time but I just can’t see how the SDLP are going to gain back anything but a fraction of the ground lost to Sinn Fein.

    Of course Espie may well have thrown the toys out of the pram over a personal dispute but based on his long goodbye letter I get the impression hes accusing the party of deviating from its principles for political expediency and I think he might be right. The defections that Chris D mentions are interesting, most have stayed away from Sinn Fein so there isn’t necessarily a big move that way although at levels below that maybe there have been significant numerical defections to Sinn Fein. Someone can confirm whether there has been or not but I’ve seen nothing to suggest that is so.

    There has always been a “no playing with the Provos” faction in the SDLP as well, I don’t know if Espie was in this camp but it is possible that a split on this line is or may occur. It certainly doesn’t seem to be dividing on the social democratic issue.

  • Yokel

    Fountain of Knowledge may well have destroyed some of my thoughts above with his/her clarifications..damn you!!!!! However you may know if the SDLP is haemoraging people at ground level to Sinn Fein, so please post.

  • Fountain of Knowledge

    Guys lets look at Eddies Political history

    Edwin espie first stood as a candidate in cookstown in 1993 for the democratic left and got 51 votes.

    Democratic left then folded and he joined the SDLP after being approached by Denis Haughey

    In 2001 he stood as an SDLP candidate in cookstown and got 328 votes and was not elected

    He was elected Chair of Mid-Ulster Constituency Council in 2002/2003 and was also asked to join the then communications committee

    He stood for the postition of vice chair at the Feb 2005 party conference and was eleted one of the two Vice-cahirs.

    In 2005 he stood in a selection convention for SDLP cookstown council election and was not selected, he was replaced by Tony Quinn who subsequently went on to win the seat for the SDLP with 493 votes.

    Now it is obvious from this that support for eddie had been dwindling locally and it was only matter of time before that would carry through to the rest of the party.

    As far as i am aware he canvassed a recorded three days during the 2005 elections and was seen very little during this time, A big loss to any party im sure.

  • Fountain of Knowledge

    This is vimpossible to measure, as you know the number of voters has decreased and that more new young people are voting Sinn Fein, I do believe that SDLP is losing voters but i would disagree with the word haemoraging, more seeping, lol

    I do believe the SDLP is on the move in the right direction making changes in the right places and has waht seems to be a very active youth group.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Fountain of Knowledge

    Slightly confused…

    Bobby Loughran announced his resignation from the SDLP to the Antrim Guardian newspaper several months ago. At the same time, his name ‘disappeared’ from the list of elected SDLP councillors for Antrim Borough Council on the party’s website.

    If he has returned to the fold, then why the reticence about re-claiming him?

  • Fountain of Knowledge

    He did not actually resign from the party, when asked to confirm his position by the party he wrote back saying he was still an SDLP councillor, but i know for a fact that he sits on South antrim Constituency coucil(and attended a meeting last week), has paid his council levvy to the SDLP and attended party conference this year

  • Fountain of Knowledge

    Im not sure why his name does not appear?

    Typo maybe?

  • What A Shame

    Fountain of all Knowledge forgot to say Espie was Quinns election agent, plus two others. Credit where its due. He was the head of SDLP elections last year and was able to return 102 councillors and 3 M.Ps. Maybe the stoopie machine is in overdrive against its one time saviour. Methinks Espie has not gone away.

  • D

    What a terrible website! Looks like he has a bit of an ego himself from the way it is laid out. Tacky images relating to CRJ and Martin McGuinness wouldn’t look out of place on a DUP website either.

  • Anti – Fountain of Knowledge

    After reading the letter from Mr. Espie and scanning the posts made from ‘Fountain of Knowledge’ I have come to a realiation that indeed he/she is a member of the SDLP. Not an acute observation I know, but what is most interesting is that this individual in their lack of definitve truth has over looked some serious issues.

    Firstly it is clear that they are indeed a public elected member. Congrats to them. They indicate that Mr. Espie was not reguarly about on the ground. I was under the impression he was Vice Chair. Doesnt that position imply a method of internal workings. If he were to stand for an elected position on local council then perhaps that would change. You may want to note the serious of sub groups headed by Mr. Espie.

    Secondly, where is you party leader? Durkans lacklustre approach to even basic politics is a reflection on all other elected party reps in council and a long to be assembly.

    Mr. Knowledge may want to remember they are in the SDLP. An attitude of backstabbing, self preservation and w**ker attitudes really dont appeal to the public now. Shocking I know but us wee poor people in the country here to actually care about the idiot on our pay role.

    All in all have some repect….you twit!

  • urquhart

    After reading the letter from Mr. Espie and scanning the posts made from ‘ANTI – Fountain of Knowledge’, I have come to the realiation [sic] that there’s a fair chance that these are one and the same person…

    Any writing style analysts out there?

  • Gum

    Have another look at his website guys – its hilarious! Especially the picture gallery, with its ‘Faces of 2005’ pic! Doesn’t look like any loss to the SDLP – egos like this dont help much.

  • IJP

    A giant of the political scene who will be missed right across his whole household.

    That was very funny…

    Mr Espie was a visionary

    … and that was fall-off-the-seat stuff! 🙂

    A decent guy no doubt, but let’s keep some sense of proportion!

  • Here’s another joke: Alliance Party 😉