Adams reaches out to Shankill

In the aftermath of the Assembly election, in which Sinn Fein captured the solitary unionist seat in west Belfast (held by Diane Dodds of the DUP), Sinn Fein President- and local MP- Gerry Adams has declared that Sinn Fein will be exploring possible ways of expanding the party’s constituency service to make it more accessible to unionists.

In a letter carried in the Andersonstown News, Adams stated that his party “has begun reviewing our programme of work across the West Belfast constituency. This will include looking at how we can build on our relationships, and accessibility to further deliver for the people of the Shankill and Black’s Road.”

The Sinn Fein MP does mention in his letter that the party has been contacted in the past by unionists from the Shankill/ Blacks Rd area about constituency matters, but the Sinn Fein President is clearly intent on building on these foundations for the future.

  • Ingram

    lol

    Chris,

    Now that Sinn Fein are administering British rule, I am sure the Loyalists will be only too pleased to make use of their public servants.

    Ding Ding

    Martin

  • SuperSoupy

    Since the troll has descended on this thread.

    Ingram,

    Where are these media adverts etc. you were promising?

    You wouldn’t have been talking crap?

  • Ingram

    Super duper,

    Wrong thread mate, be a good lad and dont spoil Chris`s post,bloggers like you like hi jacking these wonderful new topics.Any more of these good News stories Chris? Thank You

    Martin

  • Muppet-speak

    “to further deliver for the people of the Shankill and Black’s Road.”

    I think you’ll find they are happy with parcel force and the local postman.

  • Sean

    hey ding aling why are you hiding

    Ive been searching all over for these adverts about Oloan and I’ve been straight let down

    but then you have always been a liar havent you

  • seanzmct

    Adams is out to patronise the Prods of the Shankill as though they were defeated ,tamed and demoralised denizens of a quaint historical theme park. Lets hope they do not let him.

  • poorweewillie

    Adams is out to patronise the Prods of the Shankill as though they were defeated ,tamed and demoralised denizens of a quaint historical theme park.

    Good description of them. They should be further included in Black Taxi Tours where the civilised world can drive up and down pointing and laughing at them as they swim down that river they were sold on?

  • austin

    Working in the public sector, I have long since grown accustomed to political reps. interceding on behalf of people from the unlikliest areas -Big Ian on behalf of Falls Road residents, Gerry on behalf of people from the Vilage etc.

    Why the big deal? It’s the way it should be. It’s called normal politics, Seanzmct.

    Stop trying to pigeonhole the people of the Shankill in order to fit into your own sectarian mindset.

  • Martin,
    I’m impressed with your reposte to SuperSoupy, you’re getting professional in your old age 😉

    Now I see this story completely differently.
    SF are a non-sectarian Party, and would bring this announcement out irrespective of being under British Rule or Irish Rule. !!!

    The other big story of the day which peteb really should be blogging, is that Hain has been asked to resign by DUP and the SF.

    This proves the SF strategy is right, and was right at the election; co-operate with the DUP to undermine the British Establihmsnt.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if one day we hear ” DUP agree to be ruled by Dublin”… making a complete break with Britian, as they despise each other.

    see.

    Where you come in martin, is when you finally see the light of SF’s strategy, and get your bum down to falls road, for an application form to join the party.
    lol

    You can’t hold out forever m8, you know it makes sense.

  • observer

    SF are a non-sectarian Party, – lmao

    MURDERING and supporting the murder of protestants isnt sectarian?? FFS!

  • Truth & Justice

    The reality is that 3000 Unionists did not bother to come out to vote and that is why there is no Unionist voice in West Belfast, Unionism is lazy and it takes them to lay on bus at every street corner to get a good vote out we have only ourselves to blame for the loss of that seat and a lot to learn from Sinn Fein on geting the vote out.

  • I hope the DUP will issue a statement welcoming this outreach by IRA/Sinn Fein as it is entirely in line with their own desire to share power with this organisation. The DUP suggests that it has “much in common” with IRA/Sinn Fein on bread and butter issues, so when will Mrs Dodds be reaching out to Mr Adams, normally she’s quick with a press release.

  • Dave

    This is a complete stunt and very patronising at that, it will fool nobody but Paisley and Donaldson.

  • SuperSoupy

    I’ve heard Dodd’s has a reputation for a dictatorial style with community groups, they may find it easier to work with Sinn Féin.

    Normal constituency work/representation doesn’t require a shared political idealogy so Unionists may be well advised to use the strongest voice available to represent their local concerns.

    As noted above, all branches of electable political Unionism (and some beyond) agree Sinn Féin are acceptable partners so it is a very small step for individuals to engage for their own benefit.

  • John East Belfast

    austin

    “Why the big deal? It’s the way it should be. It’s called normal politics, Seanzmct.”

    Exactly – its his job does he want a medal or something ?

    That this matter should be advertised so that people know about it fine but why it is considered as news worthy is beyond me ?

    – The first thing he could address though is the same hands that reach out to the people on the Shankil are the same hands that reached up to carry the Shankil bombers coffin.

  • Bemused

    “Adams is out to patronise the Prods of the Shankill as though they were defeated ,tamed and demoralised denizens of a quaint historical theme park. Lets hope they do not let him.

    Posted by seanzmct on Apr 01, 2007 @ 05:05 PM”

    I’m not sure they’re tamed yet seanzmct….

  • Dave 1

    Adams should be doing what he is paid to do and the people of the shankill should be making sure that he does do his job.It is little gems like this that will convince people that the idea of Independence for Northern Ireland is a viable option. The political agenda will in the years ahead will move from do you wish to remain part of the UK or do you want to be free in an Independent Northern Ireland.

  • melo

    Not to be cynical but how exactly is this supposed to be earth shattering – MP in serving all his constituents shocker

    errm

  • austin

    “Why the big deal? It’s the way it should be. It’s called normal politics, Seanzmct.”

    Exactly – its his job does he want a medal or something ?

    JEB,It’s good to see that you, me and Sinn Fein are all in agreement on this one-namely that the Shinners should get on with the job of representing the Shankill and that Shankill residents should not be criticised for seeking the assistance of the local elected assembly representatives.
    Thanks mate-it does the heart good when bridges are built.

  • Northsider

    A welcome development. One thing the people of the Shankill can be assured of is their MP’s support for the forces of law and order. Next time there is a bust on a UDA fancy dress party, expect Adams and the other SF representatives to be forthright in their support for police action. Unlike a certain Mr Dodds when the PSNI stung the UDA at a North Belfast hooley a few years ago.

    Oh, and Ingram… as I’ve said before, you’re being left far, far, far, behind…. Still, there’s always the bottle but do you have to start so early? And what of these adverts? Your credibilty was low, getting lower… Even the Sunday World won’t touch you!

  • seanzmct

    What a pity Mr Adams was not more forthcoming in his magnanimity towards unionists sooner. For decades he directed a military campaign designed to bomb and shoot them out of their unionism backed up by an ideology which arrogantly regards their desire to be citizens of the UK as some form of atavistic aberration. That ideology hasn’t gone away you know.

    It took Adams in his political stupidity 30 years and nearly 4000 dead to get to where the Official Republican movement where long since at with regard to unionists.

  • james orr

    Maybe SF should buy the building that used to be Frizzells fish shop and turn it into an advice centre.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It took Adams in his political stupidity 30 years and nearly 4000 dead to get to where the Official Republican movement where long since at with regard to unionists.

    Run that past me again ?

  • Marosa

    Well, what have we here?

    A politician saying he is going to represent his constituents?

    Sorry, but I thought this was job, for which he and the rest of them are being paid by the tax payers of NI. This would not be newsworthy anywhere else in th world.

    If he, and the rest of the MLAs do it competently enough, maybe one day we might see “normal” politics in NI, and everyone, unionist or nationalist will be better off for it.

  • Roisin

    Nice to see the petty begrudgers pretend it’s a case of ‘normal politics’ as practiced everywhere else in the world. God forbid the people they vote for would ever have entertained an exclusionary sectarian thought in their little heads.

    On another matter, does anyone know why ‘Ingram’ is always peppering his posts with “lol”? It makes him come across as even more desperate than usual.

  • Dave

    I have argued with friends etc for quite some time now that if every MP, Councillor, MEP, MLA etc was a member of Sinn Fein the people of NI would be no worse off and we would be no closer to a UI.

    I sincerely believe that Unionist politicians have done very little to further the pro union movement in a positive way and most have proved to be weak and easily pushed over.

  • The Third Policeman

    Adams isn’t saying that Sinn Féin will only now begin to work for Unionists in West Belfast, what he is saying is that they will review how they serve those in the Shankill. There’s a difference. Granted its not massive news but surely its a nice step in a positive direction.

  • Henry94

    It’s nice to see people taking a break from accusing Sinn Fein of failing to reach out to unionists in order to attack them for reaching out to unionists.

  • Diluted Orange

    Truth & Justice

    [i]The reality is that 3000 Unionists did not bother to come out to vote and that is why there is no Unionist voice in West Belfast, Unionism is lazy and it takes them to lay on bus at every street corner to get a good vote out we have only ourselves to blame for the loss of that seat and a lot to learn from Sinn Fein on geting the vote out.[/i]

    It’s certainly true that the Unionist vote is not as motivated as the SF vote is but perhaps the reason that Shankill residents didn’t bother to vote for Dodds was because they felt that the DUP didn’t really do much for them. The DUP were banking on the Shankill and Suffolk electorate to come out and vote for them – what do they get in return?

    I’m glad I don’t live in either place – they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    On one hand you’ve got Paisley, Robinson, McCrea and the like, who conveniently forget their loyalist links in the past and who continue to misrepresent loyalist people by not standing up for their rights, not trying to improve their areas and rid those areas of the drug-pushers and thugs. The DUP are far too focussed on gathering as much middle class support from under the UUP’s noses to give a toss about the Shankill – they assume they’ve got their vote in the bag – despite the fact that the Shankill is THE most deprived area in NI. IMO this is Unionism’s great modern day shame – the neglect of the working class within their own community

    On the other hand they’ve got SF, who will always win the vast majority of seats in West Belfast and of course are the antithesis of loyalism. I think Gerry is trying too hard for his Nobel Peace Prize this time – why all of a sudden is he trying to woo loyalists? Has he not been MP for the area since 1983, discounting the period between 92 and 97, did he only conjure this idea up now over in 19 years of ‘representing’ them as an absentee MP?

    I’ve noticed that in recent months Gerry has been quite vocal about trying to win over loyalists – does he see this as the next step in a United Ireland by trying to garner loyalist support? I think he’s seen a weakness in Unionism with its neglect of their own working class and is trying to exploit it, however I think that scum like Sean Kelly live too long in the memory for people in these places to be rolling over for the Shinners just yet.

  • good one henry94, hilarious

  • Dave

    Henry

    Even Paisley has represented his Catholic constituents since becoming an MP so why has it take Adams so long to properly represent his Protestant constiuents.

    As many have said there is an alterior motive in the form of using disenchanted Unionist to further the UI movement.

  • seanzmct

    Comrade Stalin,

    It took Adams, in his political stupidity, 30 years and nearly 4000 dead to go get to where the Official Republican movement were long since at, with regard to unionists.

  • Aaron McDaid

    If SF tried to open an office on the Shankill before now, somebody might have led a mob to remove any tricolours flown therein, if the office wasn’t burned down first!

    So bear that in mind before deciding that it’s only today that republicans gained a desire to help all constituents.

  • Cahal

    Dave

    “I have argued with friends etc for quite some time now that if every MP, Councillor, MEP, MLA etc was a member of Sinn Fein the people of NI would be no worse off and we would be no closer to a UI.”

    Jeez Dave, the craic must be 90 up your way.

  • The Dubliner

    It might have taken the Shinners a while, but at least they’re beginning to catch on that they won’t increase support for a UI by gaining the support of those who already support a UI i.e. the nationalists. Stealing votes from the Stoops does not a UI make.

  • DMCM

    I think that all the main parties are not sectarian when it comes to representing people. I believe Ian Paisley has served well many nationalist constituents in North Antrim.
    The question now is whether Sinn Fein will take up seats in Westminster to expand their ability to represent.
    I know the oath of allegiance will probably put a halt to that but this could be interesting.
    Maybe Sinn Fein should call on this oath to be abolished. That would cause a stir!

  • Honest Broker

    Whatever his outreach plans are it is obvious that two of his stalwarts Bik McFarland (Bayardo Bar) and Sean Kelly (Frizell’s Fish shop)must be kept away from the Shankill.

  • DaithiO

    Honest Broker.

    Neither of the 2 people you mentioned are elected representetives. Can we move on now please?

  • Yokel

    Gesture politics amounting to nothing.

  • Yokel

    No we cant move on Daithi, not until there are inquiries that are at least as expensive as the Bloody Sunday one.

    Thats how it works in this country.

  • PaddyReilly

    The reality is that 3000 Unionists did not bother to come out to vote and that is why there is no Unionist voice in West Belfast

    No, the reality is that these people did not vote because they are dead or have moved elsewhere. Unionist calculations always seem to ignore the fact that the make-up of the electorate is changing, in a way that is frequently inconvenient for Unionism. This is particularly true in urban areas. (There is still a possibility that in East Antrim the electorate has changed to the benefit of Unionism).

    Possibly though there is a smaller number of protestants who did not vote because they simply do not care, and are not what they are being gratuitously termed, Unionists.

    When we talk about voters we correctly use the words Nationalist and Unionist, since the object of the voting is political and not ecclesiastical, but in any discussion of non-voters we should use the words Catholics and Protestants (and others), since we have no proof that these people hold the views that are being ascribed to them.

  • Yokel

    Paddy

    Nice idea, but no sale.

    Thanks anyway.

  • Sean

    On the other hand they’ve got SF, who will always win the vast majority of seats in West Belfast and of course are the antithesis of loyalism. I think Gerry is trying too hard for his Nobel Peace Prize this time – why all of a sudden is he trying to woo loyalists? Has he not been MP for the area since 1983, discounting the period between 92 and 97, did he only conjure this idea up now over in 19 years of ‘representing’ them as an absentee MP

    Wouldnt be at all because he would have likely been shot on site on the Shankhill would it?

    Maybe Unionists have finally matured enough to accept that Gerry is not the anti-christ

  • andy

    Seanzmct
    I think our totalitarian friend wanted to know why you were claiming/implying the Official Republican movement were in a positive position re: unionism.
    They don’t seem to have received many votes from the unionist community, for example.

  • Harris

    Though it will take some time, Sinn Fein’s strategy in engaging right-thinking unionists/loyalists from a grass-roots level (not just in West Belfast), will ultimately pay off with any future votes they may be able to solicit.

  • GavBelfast

    You make them sound like pimps!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “The Sinn Fein MP does mention in his letter that the party has been contacted in the past by unionists from the Shankill/ Blacks Rd area about constituency matters”

    If you believe that you’ll believe anything…

    “Adams reaches out to Shankill”

    I think the Shankill community will agree with me when I say you can shove your doves Adams…

    “Blacks Rd area”

    This is a republican area, he should have referred to it as the Suffolk area. The Suffolk estate is the PUL community on the road, but the term “Blacks Road” is known locally as the republican area, as I was informed by an RC girl who I was surprisingly good friends with at uni who lived on the Blacks Road.

  • UFB

    ” I think the Shankill community will agree with me when I say you can shove your doves Adams”

    Ah yes…That well known Adairesque phrase that wee Johnny the boy allegedly coined himself but which was in fact first used by ultra right, Combat 18 band Skrewdriver.

    Is CL’s (ski?)mask beginning to slip?. Perhaps, like that boistorious rascal Johnny, CL would prefer loyalism to have no representation then he would be able to drive a motorbike into a Catholic area, shoot a woman chemist assistant five times in the face and drive back over Lanark Way to proclaim himself Lord master and protector of his fifedom.

    “Blacks Rd area. This is a republican area, he should have referred to it as the Suffolk area. The Suffolk estate is the PUL community on the road, but the term “Blacks Road” is known locally as the republican area”

    Absolute, complete + utter bollix

  • seanzmct

    Andy, the point I was making to the Red Tsar was that the Official IRA/Stickies/Republican Clubs/Workers’ Party realised 35 odd years ago that the “armed struggle” was pointless and would only set the Protestant and Catholic working class at each others’ throats. Adams and the Provos, who espoused socialist ideology, but were communal, sectarian catholic nationalist militants in the Defenderist tradition, thought otherwise.

    The Workers’ Party adopted a policy of partitionist powersharing devolution based on the consent principle. It took Adams etc another 25 years and thousands dead, maimed and bereaved to wise up. During that time unionist opposition to Irish unity hardened even further.

    Adams’ success lies in managing the belated Stickieisation of the Provos. It’s a tragedy it took so very long. “Sunningdale for slow learners” and all that. What must the relatives of dead Republican volunteers really think of Adams ushering in Paisley as First Minister?

  • stick wicket

    Sean,
    In your unbiased, glowing tributes to the unselfish idealists and visionaries of the Stickies, it slipped your mind to mention the follwing glorious achievements;-

    -Racketeering on a scale that Al Capone could only dream of.
    -Collusion with the UDA.
    -Massive Tax Emption Certificate Fraud.
    -Illegal Drinking Clubs.
    -Mary McMahon.
    -Wholesale extortion from Building Contractors.
    -‘Super-Dollar’ Fraud worth millions.(Sean Garland was so keen to prove his innocence that he done a runner…)
    -No decommissioning (thus allowing punishment shootings last year.)

    Oh and I nearly forgot, complete and utter electoral collapse and humiliation because of all of the above.

  • seamzmct

    Stick Wicket

    Leave Mary McMahon and yer Aunt Sally alone.

    I did not seek to sanctify the Workers Party I merely suggested that they were faster learners re Sunningdale than Adams and co. I take it you were also not a fan of Provo bombings, punishment beatings, racketeering, bank robberies, disappearances, collusion with MI5 etc etc.

  • last orders

    To be fair to the stickies/workers party they have gotten away without handing over their weapons and holding onto their criminal empire.

    Perhaps the ARA should have a wee look into the the licence trade & the latest stickie acquisitions.

  • iano

    do not forget Frank Ross!

  • andy

    Hi Seanzmct
    OK fair enough – i thought you were claiming they had made strong links with unionists, which i now don’t think you were.
    I take your point about their thinking. They were right about armed struggle.
    Unfortunately they were slightly off in their thinking on brutal totalitarian communist dictatorships…..

  • seanzmct

    Hopefully the Shankill will “reach out” to Adams and take him by the throat.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I’ve heard Dodd’s has a reputation for a dictatorial style with community groups, they may find it easier to work with Sinn Féin. ”

    Yeah, Nigel is notorious for ..er..kneecapping those who disagree with him,or sending them to the nutting squad in south Armagh. I’m guessing community groups will still prefer him to grizzly

  • sticky wicket

    ‘Hopefully the Shankill will “reach out” to Adams and take him by the throat.’

    Oh dear Sean-On other threads you are busy pontificating and wringing your hands about the temerity of previous advocates of violence now choosing a peacful path.

    Then what do you do? You go and spoil your Ghandi-like image by going and advocating violence yourself.

    Nice to see consistency and principles are alive and well in Hickory Dicksville.