SF to [selectively] boycott Assembly?

Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, sounds positively chipper about appointing DUP MLA Jim Wells and SF MLA Francie Molloy as deputy presiding officers for the expected six week run of the Assembly, and the BBC report follows suit, but Francie Molloy’s statement on his appointment, as well as appropriating a line or two from Gerry Adams’ address yesterday, sounds suspiciously like an announcement of a selective boycott of Assembly debates.. mirroring the UUP’s selective boycott of the Policing Board.. not the most auspicious of beginnings.From Francie Molloy’s statement

“However what is much more important is moving swiftly to the position where the Assembly can meet along with the Executive and All-Ireland Ministerial Council as the fully functioning power sharing institutions demanded by the Good Friday Agreement. What Peter Hain is proposing on Monday falls short of that.

“I will not be taking part or chairing debates on issues over which the Assembly has no power. I am not interested in a talking shop.”

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  • I think SF are making a mistake here, the policing issue needs to be thrashed out, and shying away from it looks bad all round.
    This is a time for boldness, not shirking.

  • David Michael

    Yes, and I do wish people would shut up about a “talking shop”. There’s nothing much wrong with this, in the absence of an assembly with teeth.

    NI politicians need a forum for discussing their differences. Also good for the public to see and hear how their elected reps acquit themselves.

  • JD

    Endless talking shop would probably be more David. There are no more excuses for not giving the people that voted for it, a local administration with teeth. This eternal footdragging and naysaying by unionism (DUP variety) must be faced down.

  • stephen

    the real ‘NO’ brigade shpw their true colours….sfira as usual want everything on their terms, or they will throw their teddy bear in the corner.

    Well, sulk on, either you leave behind terrorism or you dont get in!!

  • Cahal

    S. Cooper,
    “Well, sulk on, either you leave behind terrorism or you dont get in!!”

    Wasn’t the ceasefire about 9 years ago?

  • stephen

    yep, it was nine years ago, but still the ira are intact, and still involved in criminality…

  • David Michael

    “Wasn’t the ceasefire about 9 years ago?”

    Maybe they can discuss this in the talking shop. Call the DUP’s bluff.

  • David Michael

    Do enlighten us, Stephen: exacty what terrorism ought Sinn Féin to leave behind?

  • stephen


    Well, killing donaldson for example, killing Rob McCartney, Smuggling, Racketeering, need I go on?

  • David Michael

    Sure, Stephen, do go on. Which Sinn Féin MP(s) are you accusing of this?

  • David Michael

    BTW since when do smuggling and racketeering constitute terrorism?

  • stephen

    Sinn Fein MP’S, none – directly.

    Their colleagues who they represent, yes.

    I understand today some more diesel was found in Armagn, plus in the recent past Mr Murphy’s farm was raided, and some interesting things confiscated…..

  • stephen

    david, I think you should read my reply to the post

    number 6,

    “yep, it was nine years ago, but still the ira are intact, and still involved in criminality”…

    I think smuggling and racketeering counts as criminality, doesnt it?

  • kensei

    “Their colleagues who they represent, yes.”

    Sinn fein MLA’s don’t represent their colleagues. they represent the thousands of people that voted for them. Common confusion, glad I could clear it up.

  • kensei

    “I think smuggling and racketeering counts as criminality, doesnt it?”

    Proove it in court, otherwise it is worse than useless. That goes just as well for loyalists, btw. I’m sick of “intelligence” and the dogs on the street.

    The IRA also did not kill the Mr McCartney, IRA members did. here is a difference, and it pays to be precise here.

  • Pete Baker

    While I’m sure some may find the particular narrow focus of the thread so far interesting, discussion of the actual topic – SF’s apparent decision to take part only in selected debates in the Assembly, and the implications of that decision, may prove to be more profitable for all.

  • Glen Taisie

    Will Francie and the Shinners run into difficulties if the Super 7 Council model is under consideration.

    Remembering last years party suspension

  • David Kiely

    ” I’m sure some may find the particular narrow focus of the thread so far interesting”

    Not me, Pete, I took a break there to do something more interesting 🙂

    Back to the “talking shop”. SF should engage. It could be just like Slugger, all mouth and no trousers (no offence intended), but perhaps, just perhaps, peeps might learn to appreciate the “other” point of view.

  • john mcilveen


    Stormont Rally for the Full Restoration of Devolution with Functioning Executive

    Monday 15th May – Stormont, 10.00am



  • David Michael

    Is this genuine, John? 🙂

  • If SF can’t even persuade unionists about power-sharing how are they to persuade them towards a united ireland.
    They should use the chamber time discussing everything; this craving for power is foolish, it will come in time, and to threaten to boycott is childish. Its totally unrealistic to expect the DUP to jump in immediatley, and SF know that.

  • With Governence comes power, with power comes responsibility, I think SF are approaching this opportunity on 15th May with all the maturity of a students union rally.
    SF are embarrasing, it would please me no end to see good governance by the people and for the people, with the Assembly working.

  • john mcilveen

    David Michael

    It is genuine mate, hope a big crowd turns up. Could make a difference


  • Smenry

    If this is a genuine rally can you give details of who is organising it? I’d go (providing it’s not a lefty socialist bandwagon-jumping escapade they seem so good at!

    Sheeeshh!! Every rally there they are like a shower of chuggers!!

  • Rubicon

    I agree with SL – the policing issue does need to be resolved and didn’t I read somewhere in the papers today that Hain has a similar view? Devolution of criminal justice has been agreed and SF now moving to join the policing boards would bring closure to DUP-type arguments about criminality.

    Hain in the Commons yesterday made it clear that SF making that move was not going to be made a pre-condition for restoration. But – it’s not really Hain that’s demanding pre-conditions, it’s the DUP.

    I’m not suggesting that SF jump to the DUP tune – but this issue is providing the latter with an excuse. There really isn’t an excuse left for SF not supporting the police.

    Once SF do so it will act as a catalyst and force the DUP to react. Do they leave the policing boards or accept SF’s involvement and stop the nonsense about criminality?

    The DUP may be the largest party, the decision for restoration may well rest with them – but these positions of power can be fleeting when not used.

    As for SF’s disengagement with “topical debates” – I can’t say I blame them. Everyone is starting to feel the pinch of DR and it won’t just be the MLA’s in search of salaries feeling the pinch once the RPA, water charges, school reform etc are through.

    Glen Taisie – SF could run in to trouble is the SDLP agree to participate in debates. The criterion that Hain’s Assembly require cross-community votes can JUST be met by the SDLP (40%). My money is on the SDLP following SF’s lead – I’m not even sure it they are a party anymore – mores the pity.

  • BVG

    A UUP MLA at the Balmoral Show told me on Wednesday afternoon that his party was going to rob SF of an executive seat cause David ervine was signing up on Monday as part of a new UU Assembly group.

    Can anyone confirm the story and if true does it mean unionist majority on future executive.

    Can imagine SF being pretty pissed off for all sorts of reasons.


  • Rubicon

    BVG – It’d be interesting if true. Could the UUP be that daft? (rhetorical question – don’t bother answering)

    The outcome would be that the UUP would get 3 executive seats instead of 2 and at each of the 10 nomination stages the UUP would have their nomination occuring immediately ahead of SF’s. The overall executive distribution (not incl. FM&DFM) would be DUP 3 (1st, 5th & 8th), UUP 3 (2nd, 6th & 10th), SF 2 (3rd & 7th), SDLP 2 (4th & 9th).

    The above is based on the DUP registering 32 seats, UUP 25 (the original 24 + Ervine), SF 24 and the SDLP 18.

    The consequences for executive nominations might be the least interesting of the political fallout occuring from such aa ‘re-allignment’.

  • JD


    Sean Farren on Radio Ulster this morning announced that the SDLP would be engaging in debates in the Hain Assembly in order to ‘test’ if it is going to be a talking shop. This is a fatal mistake by the SDLP, who for narrow party political reasons most notably in trying to reverse the 7 council model, are prepared to breath life into a shadow assembly that unionists will use to further delay the proper restoration of the Executive. Once they begin to engage in this sham it will be harder for them to walk away at a later date. Then nationalism should not overly surprised that the SDLP, after beating their chests about shadow assemblies, break with barely a whimper.

  • Sam

    Will the UUP/PUP be held to account for the UVF, for it’s violence and lack of decommissioning?

    Nothing more could be expected of the SDLP than playing their part in an NIO/DUP-inspired pantomime of democracy.

  • Glen Taisie


    Bit rich accusing the SDLP of allowing Unionists to further delay the proper restoration of the Executive.Sinn Fein have won that prize hands down.


  • BVG


    Can now confirm that Ervine WILL be part of UUP group on Monday. News was given to me tonight by a source from the UUP who was at the same OO function and he had it from an MLA.

    I take it Empey and his lemmings haven’t bothered to read the last IMC report about which paramilitary organisations are the most brutal and active. That’s right, the ones with links to the PUP!!!

    What a spineless bunch of tossers the UUP has become. I wonder what price Ervine has extracted from them.


  • Pete Baker

    Wow, bvg.. conclusive evidence then.. from an anonymous comment citing an anonymous source who heard it from someone else, also anonymous…

    I’ll wait.