Family of Francis Hughes publicly endorse Sinn Fein ahead of election

In a statement carried in the Irish News today, Oliver Hughes has urged people to support Sinn Fein ahead of next week’s elections.

The former Sinn Fein councillor had intimated only a matter of weeks ago that he was considering running as an Independent republican candidate in light of the reservations being expressed by republicans ahead of the Extraordinary Ard Fheis on Policing.

Since then, he has clearly been convinced of the merits of the Sinn Fein strategy, and his endorsement will be taken as an indication of the clearly overwhelming support from within the republican community for the steps taken over policing, something that does not augur well for the plethora of dissident/ disaffected republican candidates who have put their name on ballot papers across many of the 18 constituencies.

  • SuperSoupy

    Chris,

    Your link isn’t working, do you mean this:

    ‘Vote Sinn Fein to ensure unity’
    Assembly Election
    By Staff Reporter

    The family of IRA hunger striker Francis Hughes have called for increased support for Sinn Fein in next week’s assembly elections.

    Former Sinn Fein councillor Oliver Hughes said: “While recognising the concerns of some republicans, regarding the recent decision taken at the extraordinary ard fheis, to be genuinely held, we believe it has been the continued efforts of Sinn Fein that has exposed unionist intransigence.

    “An increased mandate for Sinn Fein will help quicken the pace of change and ensure Irish unity and independence.”

  • Pete Baker

    Chris

    You say that..

    “The former Sinn Fein councillor had intimated only a matter of weeks ago that he was considering running as an Independent republican candidate in light of the reservations being expressed by republicans ahead of the Extraordinary Ard Fheis on Policing.

    Since then, he has clearly been convinced of the merits of the Sinn Fein strategy, and his endorsement will be taken as an indication of the clearly overwhelming support from within the republican community for the steps taken over policing..”

    Strange that when Mick noted Oliver Hughes’ earlier comments you stated

    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.

    So no real change in Oliver’s position on policing at all.

  • time will tell

    What about the Sinn Fein hypocritical stance here, only recently they made slights against the families of Hunger-strikers who did not tow the party line and said they were making their dead loved ones a mockery.
    Yet strangely enough every S/F photo opportunity normally has a Hunger-strikers photo in the background and now they wheel out good old “Ollie” when things get difficult…. just like they did with “oul Joe Cahill in America”

  • Seabhac Siulach

    In light of this not very Pauline conversion will he now be un-resigning himself from the party…
    Seems like more than a bit of spin being put on this ‘news’…as Pete says, this does not seem like a man who had a strong view on policing in the first place (resigning for ‘domestic reasons’.

    Are things really going that badly in Mid-Ulster that they must wheel out this minor (ex)party hack for a rent-a-quote in favour of policing? Do they think that the brother of a hunger striker perhaps trumps an actual hunger striker, Brendan McLaughlin?

  • slug

    Well spotted, Pete.

  • Pete Baker

    Seabhac Siulach

    I was only quoting Chris…

  • SuperSoupy

    Pete plays his resignation up when it happens, raises all sorts of questions and all of a sudden when it doesn’t support the innuendo it becomes nothing.

    You’ll believe what you want (something new now) but nudge-nudge-wink-wink was your previous blog.

  • Pete Baker

    “Pete plays his resignation up when it happens, raises all sorts of questions and all of a sudden when it doesn’t support the innuendo it becomes nothing.”

    Actually, SS, I didn’t comment at all at the time.

    What I pointed to is the Slugger post when Mick noted Oliver’s comments – and you can read Mick’s post here.

    And in this thread I’ve quoted Chris’ response to that post.

  • This one of those bloody misleading headlines I complain about when it comes from the Unionist side on slugger.

    Must be election fever, both sides are as bad as each other.

    Spin, spin, bloody spin, still I do think Sinn Fein will do well, could even trump the DUP and become the biggest party.

    That would lead to some interesting theatre.

    A case of pulling together for the final push and Mr Hughes wants to be seen as doing his part.

  • SuperSoupy

    What do you mean you didn’t comment?

    There is a link above to your nudge-nudge-wink-wink post on Hughes.

    You even updated and updated it. Turns out your narrative setting was worth worth nothing.

  • GavBelfast

    I’m sure whatever about this sort of thing, the electorate will think for themselves and vote for the best candidates with the best policies and best track record in sticking to their manifestos, especially the fundamentals, and applying them.

    😉

  • joe

    what a pathetic climbdown – somehow i think his brother frank was made of sterner stuff

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pete

    I fail to see your point.

    I merely pointed out in my post that Oliver had previously intimated he might be willing to run on a disaffected label over the policing issue.

    How does that contradict my earlier post? As fas as I can see, it is little more than a reiteration of the initial post you highlighted in a vain effort to expose some non-existent inconsistency.

    The facts are simple. Dissident republicans- and others- were very quick to point out the potential significance of Oliver Hughes expressing disaffection with the Sinn Fein move on policing.

    Therefore, it is clearly a matter of significance when the same individual publicly declares his support for the Sinn Fein leadership over this matter within sight of the finishing line in an election campaign.

  • Pete Baker

    SS

    You’re mistaking my post on the announcement of Oliver’s resignation from Sinn Féin with the post referenced by Chris on the approach, by unnamed others, for him to stand as an independent republican in this election.

    Hope that helps clarify for you.

  • Pete Baker

    As, apparently, are you, Chris.

    You do remember the comments you made on Mick’s post?

  • james

    funny how all of your shinner posters have forgotten the very well sourced and utterly credible allegation from richard o’rawe that the deaths of six of the hunger strikers were contrived by the present sinn fein leadership so as to enable the party to enter electoral polics (via owen carron’s by election win in succession to bobby sands) – they may try to ignore and even forget it but history won’t, that’s for sure – imagine how this sinn fein leadership will look in a few years time when their usefulness to the irish and british establishments is really at end and the historians get stuck into gerry’s murky past?

  • SuperSoupy

    Pete,

    It clarifies nothing. You wanted this to be an issue. Now it isn’t what you hoped you downplay it.

    Will you update now it doesn’t suit your narrative? Doubt it.

    You’ll forget all about it and move on to the next nudge-nudge-wink-wink.

  • Pete Baker

    SS

    “It clarifies nothing. You wanted this to be an issue. Now it isn’t what you hoped you downplay it.”

    What we have is a direct contradiction in the comments, by Chris, in relation to Oliver Hughes.

    And yet you attempt to manufacture an argument about posts I’m supposed to have made. Go figure.

  • angie

    don’t worry pete – no-one believes these shinners except themselves and their nodding dog mates – they have a track record beyond equal of twisting and distorting the truth in the interests of elevating the alleged wisdom and status of their bearded leader – there is no lie too black that they will not tell, or have told, and it is this evidence of a complete moral vacuum in the sinn fein leadership and their asinine followers that means any prospect of them having any power of the lives of people in either part of ireland is a truly horrifying one.

  • Pete Baker

    angie

    As long as readers of this thread are prepared to look at the actual references in the archive I have nothing to worry about.

  • The Dubliner

    Chris, what point are you asking readers to debate with your post? Are you using the post simply to promote propaganda that you feel is beneficial to PSF’s electoral prospects? If so, shouldn’t you pay Slugger to run a banner ad instead of posting this opportunistic nonsense?

    How a relative of a deceased party intends to vote in the forthcoming election has no actual relevance to the issues on which that decision should properly be made by others. Yet, the purpose of your propaganda is to say “True republicans (as opposed to the fake kind we have running for office) give their “endorsement” to the fake kind, therefore the fake kind are true, too – so vote for them!”

    You also apply the PSF propaganda which implies that provisional republicans (the kind who murdered thousands before deciding they were murdering them for no actual purpose and then desisting from the sectarian practice) are the only valid republicans on the island, and that all other republicans are of a kind that “dissident/ disaffected republican” despite the graceful fact that despicable provisional republicans are the minority of republicans on this island and it is they who were (and shall forever remain) the dissent fraction of Irish republicanism.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pete

    Of course I remember what I wrote- you pasted my comments to refresh my memory!

    Which brings me back to the point: what exactly are you trying to say? There is no inconsistency between my earlier comments (re-posted by yourself) and the intro to this thread.

    That you are suggesting there is remains a mystery, and is quite amusing at that….

  • Pete Baker

    Chris

    If you don’t see that inconsistency then that’s entirely up to you.

    The archived commments are there, as are your more recent comments.

    Everyone can make their own judgement on those comments.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Everyone can make their own judgement on those comments.

    Pete

    Indeed they can.

    The facts remain: Oliver Hughes expressed clear disaffection with the Sinn Fein leadership, to the extent of suggesting he allow his name to go forward for election on an anti-Sinn Fein ticket over policing.

    Now, a mere matter of weeks later, Oliver is endorsing the same leadership and its stance over policing and all other issues.

    To other observers, with a less jaundiced political perspective, Pete, that is a significant development, particularly when one considers the source.

  • john

    The real test for unionists is yet to come. How can they justiy the existence of the North when they are sharing power with, of all people, Sinn Fein? Remember why partition took place in the first instance.

  • john

    Sinn Fein have made their hard decisions. Unionists are only just beginning to be tested politically.

  • Pete Baker

    Chris

    “The facts remain: Oliver Hughes expressed clear disaffection with the Sinn Fein leadership, to the extent of suggesting he allow his name to go forward for election on an anti-Sinn Fein ticket over policing.”

    Not according to your own comments at the time.

    Sheesh. Is it too much for you to keep to what you said then?

    Here’s a reminder

    “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.”

  • Pete Baker

    Ignore the evidence of your own statements if you want, Chris.

    But they are still there in the archive.

  • robert

    pete still thinks he owns the site !!

  • McGrath

    Pete:

    I don’t see any polar opposite argument here, or even a minor climbdown, just your obsession with semantics. Sometimes the difference is so minor, there is no difference?

  • Casimir

    There are that many U-turns from SF, it would send your head dizzy! Do they know where they’re going? (We all know where they cam from!)

    I mean, apart from the “All-ireland party” stuff, they seem to be wandering around, lost in a fog of political uncertainty and immatating the SDLP for ideas!

  • The Dubliner

    “There are that many U-turns from SF, it would send your head dizzy!” – Casimir

    They’re more v-turns than u-turns i.e. if they sniff a vote, they’ll dump another ‘principle’ and follow the scent of the vote.

    Objection to British policing and the judicial system in Northern Ireland was supposed to be a matter of profound principle to ‘republicans.’ But not a bit of it… they ditched their opposition not because of the Patten reforms (who didn’t reform whose police force it still is) or because of a philosophical argument more convincing than the one they espoused for decades, but simply as a tactic that would put the blame on the DUP if that party refused to share power with them. Apparently, the ‘principle’ was so profoundly and deeply held that it was casually abandoned on no basis other than short term political expediency. The problem with that is that ‘tactic’ is that it won’t make a bit of difference to the DUP in the long term, but PSF will still have accepted the legitimacy of British policing in Ireland and exposed themselves as a bunch of cynical vote whores who are utterly devoid of the ‘principles’ that they killed so many for.

  • The Dubliner

    And just to dismiss the ‘conditionality’ of PSF support: even if you say “We’ll accept policing and the judicial system on condition that powers are devolved by x-date,” you’ve still accepted the legitimacy of British policing and the judicial system in Ireland, even if that date is not met and you don’t actually get to swear the oath. Game over.

  • Crataegus

    Casimir

    Do they know where they’re going?

    Of course SF known where they are going, they are moving as fast as thy can to try to get to the front of the queue to accept the Queen’s shilling.

  • big mick

    oliver ‘flip flop’ hughes was never a hard liner i very much beleive his own brother would have shot him for the numerous counter-revolutionary statements he made about ‘republicans engaged in any illegal activity to do the right thing and hand themselves into the britsh athourities’particularlty remember it after there was a coffee jar bomb in bellaghy aimed at the crown forces last year one whole year before the ard fheis on policing oliver was brandishing his trungeon. so never much beleived the hardline anti-policing stance he’s just a carrer politican – guilty of usery of his brothers great name shame on him he hasn’t an ounce of principals just see’s cash signs, waster!

  • Gerenian Nestor

    Chris

    Pete is absolutely correct. You said at the time he resigned that Oliver Hughes was not opposed to the Sinn Fein leadership’s position so I’m afraid it’s not news that he is supporting them in this election.
    And given that there was no clear reason for him resigning from the party in the first place, it seems quite clear this was a pathetically simplistic ploy to bolster the vote in an area where it was at risk.
    Last Saturday Sinn Fein posters 1. McGuinness 2. Molloy 3. O’Neill were put up in a republican area of South Derry.
    By Tuesday evening, they were taken down.
    That is why Sinn Fein are issuing statements to the Irish News. And it shows the contempt they have for the intelligence of their potential voters.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I have heard from a friend of mine living on the Glen Road that the local Sinn Fein canvasser told him that he wouldn’t personally have anything to do with the PSNI, and would not urge anyone to co-operate with them, despite what the party leadership says.

    Obviously I can’t pretend that this is representative, but I thought it was somewhat disturbing.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Comrade Stalin

    The whole Oliver Hughes Fiasco along with that of Paul McGlinchey in particular was just the Sinners plotting their own survival!

    The Graveyard in Bellaghy & Maghera is full real republicans and those who survive them are gangsters!

    The X5 BMW mob are running SF in South Derry1

    Backing the PSNI shows the level republicanism has reduced itself to!

    SHAME ON THE LOT OF THEM – NO BALLS!

    Beir Bua Mo Chara

  • martin

    I cannot understand why anyone would debate the rants and ravings of a semi illiterate two bit councillor, who spends most of his time attending site meetings, (planning applacations) invited or not,and has not a clue as to the criterion involved. He would support applicants, even if the development was on the top of a thousand foot cliff. The man is a clown.

  • Crataegus

    Martin

    SF councillors are generally dire on Planning related issues. I have met many councillors trying to represent their constituents and NONE form SF that I have met impressed at all. The only reason they seem credible is generally because those they represent know less than they do. A severe case of the blind leading the blind.

  • Former SF voter

    Crat’,

    I personlly know of one SF Cllr who told a couple he would NOT represent them with regards to a planning application.

    Why? Becaue it would mean (and he continues to see nothing wrong with his stance!) that if their application was passed it would take them out of his voting ward and mean a couple of less votes for him! This really happened. It IS true. I mean…, you couldn’t write this kind od stuff could you?

  • Crataegus

    Former SF voter

    I am a developer (the bad guy) and come across a lot of councillors. Some make good constructive suggestions and quite often you can go over the objections and modify to everyone’s benefit.

    I have not met one SF councillor who put the needs of his supporters coherently! You really have to try to make any progress with them and see exactly where they are coming from. Much of what they do is related to sectarian head counts as you infer, and I can quite believe your tale. For it if it brings more dwellings into their patch against if it is likely to benefit an opponent. To them that is the planning process in a nut shell.