Oliver Hughes to stand in Mid Ulster…considering

It looks like that rustling in the undergrowth in Mid Ulster has turned up yet another challenge to Sinn Fein. According to Newsline, Oliver Hughes, former Sinn Fein councillor and brother of Brendan Francis Hughes is to run considering running as an independent Republican for the planned Assembly elections in March.

  • RadioUladh

    i heard him on David Dunseath and he said that he had been approached but he didn’t give me the impression that he was going to take up the offer. Oliver would be in agreement with the sf line for the most part on policing and seems concerned about the certainty of devolution of policing and justice.

  • Chris Donnelly


    Oliver Hughes was on Talkback, and though he stated he’d been approached by republicans to stand, he didn’t really commit himself either way.

    In fact, he indicated that, were Sinn Fein to get the proposed commitment from the DUP for policing and justice powers to be devolved by May 2008, he’d be personally satisfied- as, in his opinion, would most nationalists and republicans.

    Oliver, largely due to the status of his brother as a hunger striker, has been wrongly portrayed by some as a hard liner, when his record indicates a rather different persona.

    His disaffection with Sinn Fein stems from local disagreements unrelated to policing and other issues around the dissidents.

    Were he to run, it would again highlight the difficulty any such candidates would have in garnering votes, namely: what platform, other than a ‘We’re republicans but not Sinn Fein’ could possibly unite them? Oliver, from his statements in the past, would be a strong supporter of the Good Friday Agreement, so how could ‘Real’ or ‘Continuity’ minded sorts endorse him?

    I’ve no doubt the small number of disaffected republican activists would relish such a candidature, but selling it to a broader electorate- which has always been wary of fragmenting the vote- would prove more difficult.

  • J Kelly

    i listened to the same interview and from what i could hear he was supportive of the Adams approach on policing it looks like those opposed to the strategy are scouring for credible candidates. I thought John Kelly would have been their man in Mid Ulster according to him he has thousands of republicans thinking like he does.

    It looks like they will be under a bit of pressure in Derry to get a candidate as Gary Donnelly might not like the thought of fighting against Eamon Mc Cann as both are part of the Raytheon 9.5. the point five is Gorretti Horgan McCanns partner who surrendered herself to the police late last year and is out on police bail.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It would be interesting to know who exactly approached OH and if they belong to any existing organisation.
    There has been talk of dissidents organising themselves to present an ‘alternative’. A bit of an ignominious start if thats the case. ‘We don’t know what you stand for and we don’t know your policies on topical issues, but hey, you are a hunger strikers brother who left SF and that’s good enough for us’. Absolutely pathetic.

  • April

    Oh please, shinners condemning others for using hunger strikers for publicity. Even if the dissident republicans are using dirty tactics which there is no evidence of, its a bit rich for Sinn Fein to get on their moral high horse about it.

  • Joe Romhar

    ‘We don’t know what you stand for and we don’t know your policies on topical issues, but hey, you are a hunger strikers brother who left SF and that’s good enough for us’. Absolutely pathetic.

    As pathetic as covering for Tout Scappaticci?

  • mickhall

    The current argument the shinners are using to attack those former members who have recently left SF is pretty thin, it was not that long ago you lot were saying it is perfectly logical for Gerry, let alone yourselves to change your minds about a host of issues and end up supporting the GFA and your current leaderships policing policy, but when Frances Hughes and others no longer do so and leave the Party, you attempt to belittle them as if they have no right to change their minds.

    You really are demonstrating the nasty tendency for backbiting which has become increasingly inherent within SF, when ever a controversial issue arises., I would hate to be the first to leave one of your meetings, as you lot sound like a load of queens who enjoy nothing better than to scratch each others eyes out. [verbally]

    It is perfectly OK for you and your fellow members to have a go verbally at me and others who oppose SF strategy/ tactics, that is par for the course in politics, but to turn on your own or recent members is very revealing.

    There is nothing pathetic about approaching and discussing with people like Frances etc, as the whole point about standing joint candidates, [if it happens] is to make the point that the way the SF leadership behaves is simply not acceptable to many republicans; and by opposing Adams tactics where it will hurt, at the ballot box, is the only democratic way the dissidents can express their distaste.

    You your self admitted Texting Hyland to tell him his career was over is unacceptable. Pat I agree with you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a party deselecting candidates in an open and democratic way, but recent events just do not fall into that criteria and I feel you know it comrade.

  • mickhall

    Should have written Oliver Hughes. apologies

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    I was under the impression that there were quite a number of people chomping at the bit to face off the Shinners, after all people were queueing up in Conway Mill and Toome to lambast the current leadership of republicanism.
    Now it seems there is a trawl going on to find people rather than having ready replacements. That was my reasoning for asking if the people who approached Oliver are attached to existing organisations. Obviously they are lacking any depth or calibre thus the need to go trawling. BTW a cursory glance at the papers around the time of Olivers departure could have saved them a bit of embarrassment.

    I still find the idea of texting Hyland a sorry tale, though subsequently finding out that he had 21 days prior notice of the selection convention puts a different slant on things. Had he an inkling that he had lost the support of his colleagues? Did he request the convention being put back until he returned on holidays? Questions for DH to answer and hopefully if he stands they will get asked.

    Mick the conventions are open to party members from their constituency areas. Are we really asked to believe that there was some vast conspiracy against DH that left only himself and three supporters out of the loop?

    I realise that the anti SF lobby have been hanging around waiting for an opportunity to wield the dagger and the policing issue seems to the the catalyst for the dissidents to try and make their move. After all what has went before was simply anti Adams, Kelly and MMcG venom. Personality clashes are hardly an issue to endear anyone to the voters.
    All well and good and if they eventually attract any candidates after their trawl then the people will decide. I think I know the outcome and I feel you know it too comrade

  • amused

    Actually, let the Shinner drones carry on, it is quite amusing and will be even more so as time goes on. They are so eager to shoot down any possibility of an alternative to themselves that they will say anything at the first hint of it, whether it is or not. I mean, Oliver Hughes hasn’t confirmed anything – which they of course rushed to say – and they are falling all over themselves to put the knife in any direction it will stick. As if no one will notice, too, which is what makes it even more funny.

  • d

    No Pat – you’re wrong. Turning your gun on your fellow countrymen now thats’s “Absolutely pathetic” so save your patronising comments for those who care.

  • The Devil

    Who gives a toss about Ollie Hughes…..

    He has been a lacky of Sinn Fein and the Adams leadership from the year dot, why would anyone with principles want to associate themselves with a man who had none.
    Ollie Hughes thought all dissidents should be hunted down like dogs and the Shinners pushed him at every oportunity, so if Ollie now thinks the Leadership he idolised is wrong, is that because he was not aware what had been happening the last twenty years or because it took twenty years for him to realise it.
    Either way it shows an enormous degree of ineptitude on loyal Ollies part, and the question remains would any dissident organisation or anti-agreement party/pressure group benifit themselves by getting handcuffed to someone so naive if not completely stupid

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    well put and inciteful post.

  • Question Mark

    Magherafelt B

    1981 Results

    First Count:
    O. Hughes (IIP) 1,961
    R. Overend (UUUP) 1,070
    J. Junkin (UUP) 690
    T.J. MIlligan (DUP) 668
    A. Montgomery (DUP) 512
    F.J. Fadden (SDLP) 322
    V.P. O’Neill (Ind) 300
    H. McErlean (SDLP) 284

  • Beir Bua

    I wish the disaffected / ;dissident’ / republican community would organise either a A)spoil your vote campaign, to give republicans a chance to register their disapproval at how sf are fast becoming a dictatorship – or b)stand candidates under the Republican Alliance umbrella; formulate good SOCIAL policy – and yes, stand under the abstentionist ticket – i.e. – dont agree with Sinn Fein policy and we will not take our seats at Stormont. They dont even have to do extremely well at election time (though I suspect they would get a lot of votes out of pocket areas) – they just have to build political strength bit by bit. It would give them a platform to air views other than the SF line – views which are becoming increasignly more appealing right across the nationalist board. It also gives us republicans the opportunity to vote for an alternative, Give us some real working class people to vote for this time round.
    If the candidates are organised and stand I believe voters who are disillusioned or even apathetic will vote – though I also think that SF will take votes off the SDLP and say that their vote hasnt dropped that much. However, behind closed doors they will do everything possible to prevent independent of allianced republicans standing.

  • Secur O’Crat


    It looks like one Irish patriot might be willing to put his hat in the ring. Of course, the list of legitimate targets is long. There are the Free State TDs, the MLAs, the MPs. But I reckon republicanism has had its day. The Provie peelers have won, even if the cause is dead.