Durkan blinks

Mark Durkan has “clarified” the SDLP policing ad. He said the advert did not link Alan McQuillan to collusion, that the SDLP did not suspect him of such and confirmed his good reputation. Apparently the phrase, old RUC order, should have appeared in commas and it was meant as a response to Sinn Fein attacks on the SDLP decision to participate in policing structures.

  • Elvis Parker

    Obviously no decent lawyers in SDLP then.
    Durkan looks a fool

  • Inspector Clouseau

    Is this “clarification” another word for apology on planet Durkan?

    What do you lawyers think? Will McQuillan call off the dogs now?

  • gerry & the peacemakers

    SDLP representative told me that Durkan consults noone before acting. What an incompetent leader he is.

    Running scared of Al ‘Capone’ McQillan won’t inspire nationalist voters. Durkan should have stuck to his guns. Anyone who held top posts in the ‘old RUC’ surely must have known what was going on. Maybe it was the thought of having to pay legal costs of Al’s lawyer – that bloke must cost a packet. Will Durkan have to pay McQ’s costs up to now?

    All Durkan did was take the attention away from the collusion debate – well done Mark!

  • myself alone

    Mark Durkan has shown once again the SDLP only interested in self interests, not in the intersest of the people, whether it be sdlp elected representatives sitting supping gin and sherry at christmas knees ups in Forkhill Barracks at the height of the collusion RUC/UDR activity or making sure to put commas in their glowing self references on how they have served the people.

  • alek

    Durkan has made himself look like a total wimp over this issue.

    Poor judgement from a poor politician.

  • Durkan bottles it, what a surprise!

  • lib2016

    Durkan has to hold onto as much as possible of the old nationalist ‘business’ vote while attracting the younger more progressive elements in the CBI and the Chambers of Commerce. This carry-on won’t attract the guys who fancy themselves as hardheaded dealmakers.

  • Henry94

    I have a lot of respect for Mark Durkan (we worked together against the sticks in USI, back in the day) and I think the SDLP would be finished without him but he has blundered badly here.

  • Glen Taisie

    Listen to the interview again!!!!!!!

    Durkan speaks from a position of strength and did not back down to Blair or Reid.

    Compared to the incompetent SF negotiators (Comprehensive Agreement, OTR legislation etc) Durkan is a giant

  • The Sidewinder

    Durkan has again shown classic misjudgement and ineptitude-nearly as bad as the last election when he ran his campaign on a ‘Smash The DUP!’ ticket.-Great success that was, eh Mark?

    If he’s the best opposition to Gerry, then the Shinners have little to worry about.

    Any chance of Seamus Lynch of ‘We,We We, in the Workers Party’ fame, making a comeback?

  • sean

    I doubt if even the sticks would be stupid enough to take on the sdlp job.

    If Durkan keeps going at this rate, the workers party will have more votes than the sdlp !!

  • I’m with Henry on this. Nice guy, bad mistake.

    And Sidewinder is right: the ‘Smash the DUP’ campaign was an ill-conceived failure.

    Wonder what the current campaign slogan will be? Anyone know?

    They can’t go down the same route twice, but can they out-green the Shinners? Maybe – after all, SF are just following where the Stoops led, no? SF certainly can’t crow about MI5, as they’re still scraping egg off their face, and they’re actually starting to feel more and more like the SDLP every day…

  • Billy

    Glen Taisie

    Your attempts to deflect from Durkan’s balls-up and his pathetic and transparent climbdown are a joke.

    I am not and have never been a Sinn Fein member, supporter or voter.

    I used to be an SDLP voter when I was younger. However, like a lot of others, I saw through the SDLP especially when people like Durkan, McDonnell and Attwood came to the fore.

    There are a few good people like Alban McGuinness and it’s a pity that they are wasted.

    “Durkan is a giant” – yeah right.

    I think that Sinn Fein will lose some votes to the dissidents.
    However, I also think that they’ll pick up votes from moderate Catholics who just couldn’t support their previous stance on policing.

    Durkan’s attempts to ingratiate himself with the business community have been laughable and this latest fiasco just tops it off.

    I think we’ll see in the assembly elections
    that Sinn Fein consolidate their position as by far the largest nationalist party. I wouldn’t be surprised if the SDLP vote goes down (again).

    And all this , with a “giant” for a leader.

  • DMCM

    I cant believe how many commentators are hungry to attack the SDLP.
    For all those “highly intelligent” Sinn Fein supporters, please realize that the Sinn Fein position since 1998 has moved toward SDLP policy and thinking.
    The SDLP have not budged an inch, their message has not altered.
    Sinn Fein have sold their souls to get where they are.
    Adams and McGuinness are not leaders in any way shape or form. Their popularity is based on controversiality and thats it.
    The Sinn Fein position is about throwing the mud and hoping it sticks.
    Sinn Fein played their last card with policing, their controversialty is now over.
    When they go head to head with the SDLP, the public will get to see that the SDLP are miles ahead of Sinn Fein when it comes to “real politics”.
    As far as this particular item is concerned:
    Has Durkan apologized? No

  • Billy


    “Has Durkan apologized? No”

    Try not to treat people like they are stupid. It’s obvious that Durkan has tried to weasel out of it by apologising in a pathetic backhanded manner.

    “Clarification” – bollox.

    I am no supporter of McQuillan and actually thought that he had a very poor case for libel.

    However, after yesterday’s pathetic performance from Durkan, I think McQuillan should stand his ground and make Durkan apologise properly. It’s obvious that Durkan is turning tail so I don’t see why McQuillan shouldn’t get his pound of flesh.

    What a fiasco.

    I am not a Sinn Fein support but what a contrast between Durkan and Gerry Adams. GA is showing firm leadership by facing down dissention within his party and (rightly) advocating a policy that is not only morally correct but a very smart political move.

    Then we have Durkan and this unbelievable shambles. A pathetic attempt to “out-green” Sinn Fein which has totally backfired and shown the SDLP up for the bunch of incompetent amateurs that they are.

    There can be no doubt that the SDLP vote in the forthcoming election will decline yet again under the “inspiring” leadership of Durkan.

  • DMCM

    I dont understand where you are coming from. Have you listened to the radio interview? It seems to me like you havent.
    If you find it, let the rest of us know. I feel like I will be waiting a LONG TIME!
    To keep it nice and clear for us Billy – tell me what minute and second from the real player clip that the apology is during the interview so we can all see what you see.
    If you think that Durkan is apologizing in this interview or insinuating it – Put the words that came out of his mouth onto this blog.
    I look forward to your answer.

  • DMCM

    “Try not to treat people like they are stupid. It’s obvious that Durkan has tried to weasel out of it by apologising in a pathetic backhanded manner.”

    Remember Billy – just one line from the interview – one line only to show that it is obvious.

    Until you provide this – it is YOU who are treating people like they are stupid.

  • sidewinder

    Mark Durkan!!

    What time did you go to bed last night?

    2.34 am is very late.

    Bet you slept in and missed your paper round…

  • BoanrLaw

    Let’s not be too hard on Durkan.

    I hear (open to correction) that the blame lies with Alex Atwood for “sexing up” the ad.

    For all those who in their ignorance (and blinkered anti RUC prejudice) played down McQuillans’ chances add this to the Irish News statement and which side seems stronger?

    Let’s hope the SDLP has deep pockets…

  • DMCM

    Still waiting for an answer Billy……………………………..
    Where is this so called apology from Durkan?


    Some fairly predictable baiting here from the Shinners. Does it matter to any of them that there’s absolutely nothing new in this story? Durkan has said from day one that no one was linking McQuillan to collusion.

  • sidewinder

    Durkan may watch himself bearing in mind that McQuillan’s Head Honcho in the Asset Recovery Agency.

    If McQuillan seizes Durkan’s Chopper (Bike, that is)then no paper round means no way of paying the libel bill.

  • DMCM

    Still waiting for evidence of the apology Billy………………………..
    Come on, put your money where your mouth is!!!!