Adams weakness was Ahern’s opportunity…

CHRIS Thornton muses on whether Sinn Fein’s day may have come (in the north) and gone (in the south). Gerry Adams RTE performance – strong on the peace process, weak on the Republic’s economy – “may have reinforced notions that Sinn Fein is defined by the North. This may give Mr Adams pause for thought. Like some African dictator or Free Presbyterian moderator, there was an assumption that Adams was president for life, if he so chose.” Sinn Fein may have received a bounce in the south in the past by appearing reasonable beside the DUP, argues Thornton, but with the end of The Process and the start of Real Politics – coupled with a Taoiseach-friendly Paisley – maybe southern voters don’t feel the same need to shore up northern-centric SF-republicanism any more. Is it time SF looked for a new leader, in the south? With the election over, is it time for Adams to start his presidential campaign?

  • lib2016

    One appreciates that unionists haven’t had many Portillo moments but surely this is beginning to get repetitious even for them?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    It’s my first Irish election post. If it means keeping libby happy, I’ll make it the last too.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    lib Unionists have been banging on about one of their fondest memories for 317 years (and counting) so expect this one to run a bit longer.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    It is not clear if Grizzly & Co got into power in the south as part of a coalition what ‘republican’ policies could be implemented. Certainly voting right for northern westminister MPS would be one. But although annoying for Unioinsts they would be reasonably insulated from anything SF enacted in the south.

  • Glensman

    Sinn Féin when implementing policies (if they had of been elected) would have to consider unionists. Noone in the party is out to piss Unionists off…

  • againtthehead

    what makes me laugh most is the fact that bertie will consider anyone else for government apart from Gerry – says a lot for all those northerners that vote for SF!!

  • PaddyReilly

    Good point, Sammy.

    “Opposition Fine Gael (FG) leader Enda Kenny told national broadcaster RTE Monday that he had not given up hope of forming a so-called ‘rainbow alliance’ alternative government.”

    Interesting. During the next week Enda will have to decide what his priorities are. What is his greatest ambition? Is it:

    1) to exclude SF from government?
    2) to be Taoiseach?

    If the former, then he can die happy. That is easily done.

    If the latter, then he will have to cede the former.

    Looking at the history of the 1948 Coalition, I find that FG (respectable and reactionary since 1921) entered into a coalition with Clann na Poblachta, a party of recent insurgents. This actually lasted till 1957, when a group allied to CnaP called Saor Uladh started guerilla warfare in occupied Ireland.

    FG’s lack of a desire to go into government with SF is obviously based on a desire not to get burned again. If SF do anything bold it would be highly embarrassing and the Coalition would collapse. They are, as you might say, a ‘loose cannon.’ Best avoided. Except in a really dire emergency.

    Can SF be trusted? Someone said Pat Rabbitte is an ex-Official man, but there’s a world of difference between being in the Workers’ Party in Dublin and in the pre ceasefire OIRA in Belfast.

    But yes, an ex-insurgent can be admitted, as long as he’s ex- enough.

    What if FG tried to form a Rainbow Coalition with Labour, Greens and SF? Then it would be up to a couple of independents. I would say, SF’s price would be, the same slightly left wing agenda as Labour and Greens and don’t say anything against a United Ireland.

    This leaves Enda with the embarrassing task of explaining why he made a promise and didn’t keep it. I can think of a number of excuses for him:-

    1) If I didn’t do it FF would have
    2) There’s only four of them so it doesn’t make any difference
    3) I’ll have the Special Branch keep a close watch on them
    4) They’ve given me their word of honour they won’t be bold
    5) A week is a long time in politics
    6) Necessity make strange bedfellows
    7) I’m Taoiseach, so up yours Bertie.

  • Hillview

    I dont think they should even consider government in the south now. They need tou re-group and assess the reasons for their poor performance. They certainly need to deal with the blatantly biased way the main media outlets deal with them. Perhaps they need to be more aggresive in interviews.

  • Nic

    Oh come one guys, give it a rest.

    The good citizens of Ireland don’t want the IRA about the place either. We’ve been telling you this for years so would you please build a bridge and get over it.

    BTW, the Sunday Independent yesterday mentioned that FF sources are of the opinion that Frank Connolly was the source of the Mahon Tribunal links about Bertie’s finances.

    Which puts the “rally round Bertie” effect in a different, more plausible light, doesn’t it?
    As regards the PDs faux pas – my guess is that McDowell didn’t get that titbit about Connolly until he’d already gone public on his concerns and backpedalled furiously when he realised what was afoot.
    At great personal political cost, he refused to be part of helping subversives. Therefore I believe the tributes to him from Bertie are actually genuine: for a patriot who saved Berties and our arses regarding the IRA more than once in recent years, and in the end paid the ultimate price for it.

  • wonderwall

    Well the ‘ADAMS OUT’ grafitti will soon be appearing on gable walls.

  • Whatever Next

    Oh please Jesus, let Adams be vain enough to try a presidential bid next time round. Please, please, please! Come on Gezza, just look at the vast support you have on Slugger threads – they speak for Ireland. And you’re such a brilliant campaigner that if it was just you on your own, the southern media big business west brit establishment [paranoid nutjobs, have I left anything out?] couldn’t stop you. Go on, go on, go on! Much like Gez himself I suspect, I don’t know what the irish is for, “Sinn Fein: the party a quarter of the North wants, and no one in the South would p*ss on if they were on fire” but you’d better get it sorted out soon for the letterheads.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done i

    PaddyReilly – nice stuff and plausible. Here are a number of reasons Enda could not admit to for doing a deal with Grizzly.

    1) I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse
    2) I got a seat on the army council
    3) Northern bank notes are as good as any
    4) My party used to love that sort of stuff
    5) Michael Collins would definitely have done it
    6) If not this time then I will be too old

  • Cato

    When John Hume and the SDLP started to refer to a post-nationalist era following the Good Friday Agreement they were greeted with hissing and booing from Sinn Fein, not to mention a dose of derision given the subsequent strong electoral performance of the latter in Northern Ireland.
    Suddenly in the aftermath of the election results in the South, such derision for the post-nationalism motif looks misplaced.
    By definition, Irish nationalism needs to be strong on both sides of the border in order to fulfil its ultimate goal of a united Ireland.
    During the Troubles, the IRA hung on to the notion that, while Southern citizens were revulsed by the violence, they still harboured a desire for the political reunification of the island.
    Their continued pursuit of an armed campaign could take some historical justification from the Easter Rising which was initially rejected by the Irish people and then became the dynamo for the electoral landslide for Sinn Fein in 1918.
    Unfortunately for Sinn Fein, the election result last week means that the parallel must end there.
    Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are now viewed by the vast majority of people living in both as two separate countries.
    It is becoming clear that in order to strengthen itself electorally in the South, Sinn Fein must organise there as a separate party, if not de iure, then certainly de facto.
    There seems no need for it to abandon its ultimate goal but with no imminent resolution of that issue up ahead, it is essential that it switches its attention to a focus on socio-economic issues from a social democratic rather than socialist outlook.
    It will still be difficult as even a more refined left-wing position seems not to wash with the majority of the Southern voters.
    But if there is a way, it is the only way. In a profound irony, Sinn Fein may start to look at Humesque politics as the best possible way to make inroads in 2012.

  • confused

    Can’t see Enda getting the top Job or GA going to the Aras. There is too much opposition to the latter suggestion.

  • Jim

    I think the problem relates to SF’s inability to capture the imagination in so much as they tried to sell the steak as opposed to the sizzle. The economic, social and security benefits of an UI need to be defined (pre Green paper) to capture the imagination, as for execution tthey should time this to coincide with the downturn in the Republics economy and when increased social exclusion manifests on the streets.

  • Whatever Next

    Posted by Hillview on May 28, 2007 @ 04:25 PM: “I dont think they should even consider government in the south now”. You know, you’re probably right Hillview. And whadda ya know, 90 plus % of the Southern electorate think Sinn Fein shouldn’t consider government either.

    But My God. From the spacer-like reaction from the few Provo supporters who have cropped up on Slugger, they really don’t get it, do they? How terribly grand of them not to consider government – you don’t think out here in the real world the great big boot up the backside the electorate have just given you has helped you make that ‘choice’ [sic]? No? Okay then. Right you are.

  • Ned’s Bitter Oul Ma

    I expect that the unionist gloating over this will stop around the time that the Shinner-drone gloating over McDowell stops. Or maybe sooner, all things considered.

  • Hillview

    Whatever next, does the same not apply to the PDs in the last election and it looks as though they may be in the next government with 2 seats and a minister or have you not seen the full list of results? What makes you think im a “provo supporter”?

  • Gréagóir O’ Fráinclín

    Simply, Gerry fucked it up when he appeared in that debate prior to the election. He knew absolutely nothing about the economy etc..and Bulldog McDowell put him in his place a few times. Gerry’s rant of equal rights to every topic ie Crime, Health, Economics just did’nt wash with the Irish general public. The Shinners should get the school books out and go back to basics now that the ‘war’ is over. The Irish people value the Irish economy more than anything as it’s the engine room for the ROI and in turn the whole island. (and not necessarily in a total UI context either, so Unionists relax.)

  • Whatever Next

    Apologies if you’re not, Hillview, and obviously I’ll take your word on that – my fault for not phrasing my post better, as i was trying to separate my reaction from you specifically in that 2nd par, and move on to a generalised take on those SFers still proclaiming the result a great victory for the inevitable march of green tinted history.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done i

    The Irish electorate is probably the most tribal in western europe – hence the re-election of crooks Berty and Lowry etc plus the very quare fellah in Kerry and this coupled with naked self interest – namely fear of the collapse of the economy/house prices – determined this election

    SF do have Republican tribal appeal and in different times will probably re-surface when the economy is not such a pivotal issue.

  • forlorn fairy

    I don’t think the reason they lost a seat and performed so badly was due to Ahern being Paisley friendly. But Chris is right when he says its Adams who is getting the blame personally. He was overconfident at the ard fheis and he did want gov. in the south badly, so badly that during the election in the north, one of the criticisms of him was he wanted to get it over with and get on with the election in the south.

    The criticisms are personal, it’s not being blamed on the party but on Adams himself, which is something new. Especially from within the party.

    I never believed Adams wanted to be President, because I never thought he had a chance. Too much baggage. The chances of him winning a presidential campaign are equall to him winning the Nobel peace prize, he may want it badly but he has too much background baggage, therefore I can’t see it be a realistic option.

  • No matter how Adams and co paint it, four seats is a bad result – especially when you take into consideration the fact that the Workers Party at their height had seven seats in the Dail and were the second biggest party in Dublin. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the Shinners failed to achieve even the modest level of success enjoyed by their arch enemies in the Stickies? I always expected Sinn Fein to hit a ceiling at some point in the south but I’m sure nobody in the party expected it to be this early. Mary Lou not getting elected was a really big slap across the face for the Provos.

  • Acer

    It’s very simple: the electorate in the republic decommissioned Sinn Fein, and put Gerry Adams beyond use. The whole SF strategy, to use success in one jurisdiction to build success in the other, is in tatters. No new, young clean skins in the Dail, just the gruesome (and not over-bright) foursome. Mary Lou’s European seat must be in jeopardy: there is a Euro seat for a protest candidate, but Boyd Barrett must be considered a favourite for it.
    Sunday’s papers brought home the disaster. They were all much the same – who would partner FF in government. Lots of photos and articles on the possibles. Not a picture of Gerry or any member of SF anywhere. Can you imagine the coverage if SF had even eight TDs. So much for the SF team that was preparing for government. So much for Gerry’s assertion that he had no doubt Bertie would come calling, and that the question was not whether FF would go into government with SF, but would SF go into government with FF.
    What was fascinating was that it was the electorate who took out SF – not the politicians, not the media, both of whom were astounded at SF’s failure. The electorate has made it clear that it wants a fair and peaceful arrangement in NI, and thinks it has now got that, not least by holding SF’s hand, and biting its lip during the ‘peace process’. SF is now on its own, in NI. It doesn’t need support from the republic. The electorate knows that a SF in power in the republic would destabilise both the republic and NI (which of course is what SF wants). Right now the game is keep the DUP sweet. For the vast majority the present situation is as good as it gets. A choice between a grinning Paisley or a grinning Adams is no choice. SF is rather like abortion – we don’t want it here but by God we want it over the border. No wonder Bertie let it be known that he had talked with Paisley since the election. No wonder Paisley junior was on to Dermot Ahern for a lesson in vote management. Expect some serious FF-DUP public lovemaking with SF the ditched ex forced to watch.
    As for Gerry and the presidency: after his disastrous TV debate and his utter failure to grasp even the most elementary political, economic or social issues he is going to need every day of the next four years before the presidential election to recover. He completely misinterpreted all those opinion polls about how admired he was. Any admiration for him was for him north, not south of the border. A long break in his holiday villa is needed.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    some good points and particulalry the abortion one. But is it not the reality that the Oirish electorate is as strange as they come – nobody believed Berty – ie they think he might be a crook but they appear to have returned him.

    I am disappointed at SF result and seek ‘reasons’ which may allow for their re-emergence and those that dont like them are convinced they are gone for good. D4 DUP alliance may backfire as the plain people of ROI dont like either.

    Time will tell but in keeping with the (wishful) thinking and to paraphrase Grizzly – they havent gone away you know.

  • CTN

    The last few commentators have it right- for the first time Adams has switched from mass asset to mass liability for the shinners,

    The main reason for their bad showing is the sheer volume of resignations over the last two years, this is as a result of Scappatici, Donaldson the large number of scallywags associated with the provo family going unpunished and the shortfall within the current St Andrew’s framework in terms of progress towards a united Ireland.

    The formerly mere Dublin based campaigns group Eirigi have now became an all Ireland political party leeching more members of SF.

    When you consider that this group was formed by SF’s hardest working and most clean cut members in Dublin things look very ominous for the provies in the city as their more uncomfortable members now have a new platform to progress the struggle outside the Paisley/provo executive within easy access.

    Eirigi are very energetic and have been campaigning all over Dublin, they decided to become a polictical party last week as a result of so many disgruntled former shinners approaching their ranks in both jurisdictions.

    Adams buffoonery could not have been better timed as Eirigi will now smell the blood from the erstwhile comrades recently inflicted wounds….

  • Porteydown

    “Tiocfaidh ár lá”

    Not if the sensible people in ROI have anything to do with it, it won’t 🙂

  • Acer

    Sure they haven’t gone away. The republic’s electorate wants the current situation in NI to stay the course, and the boat not to be rocked. There was un unspoken deal as far as the republic is concerned – strong, fair and equal power-sharing in NI, and the ditching of a UI. As the vote shows the electorate feels it has done all the favours due to SF and now owes it nothing. If that is the deal, then what is the point of SF in the republic? If it is gung-ho for a UI few will vote for it. If it is not, does SF become one more protest party? Does Gerry become the Irish equivalent of Arlette Laguiller in France – everybody rather likes her and has a grudging admiration for her doggedness and confidence that the capitalist system is going to collapse but, except for the diehards, nobody votes for her.

  • CTN

    Fair play portey;- but as sense is a perception and many SF members perceive their leader not to have much when it comes to winning elections- the danger for SF is they will perceive the most sensible thing to do is to continue jumping ship to the growing Eirigi movement who haven’t painted themselves into a corner through adhering to the St Andrew’s agreement without having the political talent to progress the struggle for reunification in parallel…

  • forlorn fairy

    Acer good post, though I don’t believe all the admiration for Adams was from north of the border, I believe there was admiration for him south of it also. The media reported him to be the third most admired man in the country (ROI). But as you say, the admiration was misinterpeted. It was admiration for what he was doing in the north, dismantling the PRM and disarming it. Putting himself out there as a statesman. Peace for power. In those terms SF delivered, (very late and very begrudgingly but delivered). Now that they’ve delivered – go away. The southern electorate God bless them are much more politically astute than their northern counterparts, Adams and his SF team underestimated them, and took them for granted. They were so sure they had it in the bag. Considering the coverage SF got before the election, with positive publicity on BBC and UTV and the world over. The photo opportunities of Marty and Ian. all of it, and still they lost people badly. It’ll teach them not to take the electorate for granted. Hopefully soon it will be time for the electorate in the north to teach them the same lesson.

  • CTN

    I think the idea was to expand the north-south council with shinners on both sides, force FF to produce a green paper on unity and concede speaking and further voting rights for northern mps in the Dail acer, but as all of that was predicated on SF’s ambitious electoral expansion plans coming of- its gone kinda pear shaped for now.

    What a time for the accomplished statesman Adams to start messin up on TV and Radio, sounded a right feckin eejit didn’t he…

  • jezebel

    Put simply, Gerry Adams should not have been involved in political debates around the economy when hes not involved in the day-in day-out dealings in the Dáil, Caoimhin would have been a much better choice. This was certainly a factor in the SF result as was the FF/FG squeeze which effected other parties.
    All in all SF were unlucky not to finish with 5 seats as they did in 2002, but theres a lot of media silly-talk about writing them off completely now. The fact remains that they have a better base now than they did 5 years ago, especially in rural parts of the south and have plenty of Town and County Cllrs to show for this.
    SF will learn from their mistakes and will bounce back again, anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool for underestimating them.

    If Labour go into coalition with FF Sinn Féin will be the only prominent left-wing party in opposition which could garner them even more support especially if the economy takes a down-turn.

    Mark Durkan said today that the southern electorate are ‘more mature’! How do his Foyle voters feel about that?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Acer, the strength of the ideology of Republicanism – ie the desire for a UI is not clear but is still there as a factor in the political thinking of the electorate – but at the moment ( possibly because of economic concerns ) is only a major factor in the border counties.

    Grizzly will study his economics for dummies book probably drop the word ‘socialist’ from party literature and hope that Republicanism still has the potency to influence future elections.

    If it does not then I agree with you there will be nothing to differenetiate them from the rest and they will only be a party of Non Iron.

  • CTN

    They have a better spread jez but as was stated earlier they are losing members and won’t get their support out whilst that continues.

    One thing we have all neglected to mention is that the provies blew Sean Crowes Director Of Elections’s knee caps of in September ’02, many shinners left after that and even the ones that stayed on said Crowe would lose his seat- they got 3000 council votes two years later which was well down on what they should have and never recovered as the knee cap victim was very well liked outside the republican family with many people not quite believing he could have been guilty of something criminal and so many workers walking away in disbelief.

    Also O’Snodaigh’s vote is well down as he has also lost workers and 2 high profile councillors have resigned in his constituency one of them was SF’s nomination for Dublin city mayor- he resigned 3 weeks ago in the middle of the campaign.

    All in all Dublin SF are in trub…

  • Aer

    Thanks for the titbits CTN. The one I cannot undestand is Nicky Keogh. Did he jump or was he pushed? If the latter why? Surely that political master strategist Gerry Adams didn’t think that Mary Lou would do better, or did he think that the seat was in the bag and he’d rather have the smooth new skin ‘peace negotiator’ Mary Lou than the old rough diamond Nicky?

  • CTN

    HI Aer, Nicky retired as some of the people who left for one reason or another were close friends of his and refused to stand again despite requests from hq- he was a guaranteed shoe-in considering he only lost by 50 votes last time.

    Although he did not have a lot of natural talent his republican zeal for the job and experience in the council chamber were resulting in him become a very much improved and more accomplished politican.

    The shinner leadership saw a vacum and who better to fill it other than M.L. who was residing within the constituency (Castleknock) and is the most transfer attractive candidate they have, in truth she like other SF candidates were on course to get elected under the leadership of griz who up until two weeks ago was one of the most articulate politicians in the country until he messed up on air spectacularly.

    They say a week is a long time in politics- it’s true in the space of a week Adams has slipped to being a respected competent leader in the eyes of middle Ireland to being somewhat of a clutz.

    I’d say his shrinking and intemperate grass roots aren’t to chuffed with him either….

  • middle-class taig


    Post away. For the first time in a decade or so, republicans have to face the second of Blake’s two impostors. The self-reflection, forthrightness, honesty and humility with which we do so will define our future prospects in the South.

    I think as much as anything this election result points to something which should have been obvious for years, but which was masked by the broad upward trend in SF electoral fortunes (or maybe not so much masked, as perhaps it gave us an excuse for not facing the reality of it). Namely that, for the foreseeable future, how SF performs in southern elections is entirely dependent on how FF performs, which is itself dependent on the perceived reality of the FG threat. It’s all very well SF winning Euro or local seats in mid-terms where people are looking to get a slap at the government. But, when there’s a real and palpable fear of a blueshirt government, a sizeable proportion of the SF-maybes “run home to momma”, in the shape of FF.

    It seems to me that there’s a soft-SF/FF floating voter in the South, particularly in Dublin. I don’t think Mary Lou McDonald, for example, has become unpopular overnight. I just think (a) there’s a difference between having broad appeal among the second raters usually standing in Euro elections and having the kind of local credibility needed to win Dail seats; and (b) Bertie slurped up the lion’s share of any floating vote because the prospect of Taoiseach Enda Kenny was real and horrifying.

    SF made the mistake of believing that being among the most committed, hard-working, self-sacrificing of representatives is rewarded in the South. It is not. Ask Joe Higgins. Ask Dan Boyle. People want to know whether their job is safe, whether they’ll be able to buy a house and then pay the mortgage. You used to have to be sound on the national question. Now you have to be sound on economic questions. For the next two elections perhaps, SF are out of that equation.

    In that context, what should SF do? In some ways, it should continue doing what it has been doing – building strong electoral bases at local level, based on hard graft and local appreciation. The two young fellas in Donegal, while no doubt bitterly disappointed, should recognise that they both performed well. McLochlainn is up from 10% in ’02 to 17.5% (that’s 0.7 of a quota). Doherty’s performance was even more creditable – up from 10.7% to 21.2% (0.85 of a quota), and a guaranteed seat anywhere but a tight three seater.

    SF need not panic. This isn’t meltdown. Meltdown, which was relatively narrowly averted, would have seen teh loss of O’Snodaigh, Morgan and Ferris. However, yesterday’s setback does require a refocussing of expectations. Talk of seats in Waterford, Wexford, Cork North Central and the two Leitrim constituencies is demonstrably idle. What may win seats there is another 10 years’ hard graft and local advocacy by young candidates. Targets for SF next time should be the two Donegal seats, a better performance for Mary Lou in a Bertie-free Dublin Central, the recovery of Sean Crowe’s seat, and consolidation in the four seats it has managed to retain.

    Adams shouldn’t go near a presidential bid. It would be an exercise in nothing other than vanity, and it’s hard to see him winning. He should, instead, focus his energies on the enormous task of builing a credible corpus of fully costed policies, rather than the non-specific talk of rights which characterised SF’s offering this time. He should also set about building a party which competes on the issues relevant to people in the South. Then, after the next Assembly election, he should bite one bullet of partition and put his party on a firm footing for the future, by establishing his replacements, plural, north and south.

  • Diluted Orange

    Really, what is with all the apparent surprise that SF didn’t do well in the Republic?

    A progressive European country, whose economy continues to go from strength to strength. Why would anyone from the RoI want to go backwards and vote for SF? It defies logic.

    IMO all the semantics about whether Gerry stuffed it up or not are irrelevant. He was doomed to failure.

    Face it, whatever progress SF have made in NI over recent years counts for very little in the South – in general they just don’t give a toss about our little sectarian conundrum. And who could blame them? This Protestant/Catholic thing, it’s so last century.

  • willis

    I bet Gerry is wishing that he had spent a bit more time preparing for the debate.

    What does Nationalism mean if not the ability to drive your Merc past some hapless Brit in his Ford?

    Think about it.

  • CTN

    Guys I’m not tryin to deliberately find a common platfrom here but there was a time when the shinners were able to reply to a FF leaflet en mass within 15 minutes of it being delivered around the doors in Dublin, now that membership has melted away into resignation both before and after the St Andrews shortfall or defected elsewhere- the provies are in trouble as the new Eirigi party comprised of their hardest workers is competing for their members.

    The shinners were gettin elected by having a mass force on the ground- period, at residence meetings through to a constant canvass- this has became much reduced in Dublin.

    The north was only an issue as long as Adams was articulate on TV- this coupled with hard graft on bread and butter issues was the secret to their success.

    Now that their membership is imploding, Adams’ reputation has fallen, and they face into the next elections with a losers tag for the first real time since the end of the broadcasting ban- they’re up to their necks in it throughout Dublin constituencies.

  • DK

    Who are these eirigi? All I can see from their website is a campaign for a real IRA bomber (Aiden Hulme) and the usual tat that basically equates to “we hate brits”

  • GavBelfast

    When an out-going Fianna Fail Taoiseach feels confident enough that he will get a bounce from a ringing endorsement from the UK Prime Minister, and includes chummy images with the Rev Ian Paisley in his party election broadcast, and the electorate appears to react positively to these things, it should be no surprise that Sinn Fein makes no progress in the South, and Unionists and Republicans in NI would do well to pause and reflect on the people and society we now have to our South.

  • CTN

    Formerly a Dublin based purely campaigning group which splintered from Dublin SF in April ’06.

    They received such an influx of applicants from SF to join their group that they have now became an all Ireland political party.

    That decision was just ratified last week in advance of the shinner nightmare and was equally as unexpected!

    Although at an embryonic stage they are involved in high profile demos in Dublin and the north.

    It is not what they think say or do that is pertains to my point but rather that they will damage SF by leeching their membership.

    Take it for read DK post election ’07 there will be a lot of disgruntled shinners out there;- especially since Adams’ ineptitude throw petrol on Mary Lou’s funeral pyre inter alia.

  • jp

    Diluted Orange, I don’t know if you’re being facetious, but you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head.

  • CTN

    Don’t forget SF’s probs aren’t restricted to the north not being relevant here but also that they are not delivering on the bread and butter issues in their working class strongholds as much as they used to down to mass resignations…

  • Harry Flashman

    Middle Class Taig

    “Blake’s” impostors?

    You are surely referring to that magnificent voice of British imperialism and Ulster loyalism, Rudyard Kipling, are you not?

  • Gréagóir O’ Fráinclín

    GavBelfast says ”….and Unionists and Republicans in NI would do well to pause and reflect on the people and society we now have to our South.”
    Do you mean the above is a good or a bad thing?

    I agree with Diluted Orange with ”This Protestant/Catholic thing, it’s so last century”.
    So true….and about time NI folk copped on too.

  • middle-class taig

    Harry, don’t!

    My cousin, an avid sluggerette, has been slabbering at me about it all night. He texted to congratulate me on my “exceedingly good” post, and emailed me the theme from jungle book this morning. The reddener from this one will last longer than Mary Lou’s.

    What a wally!!

    Cheers 🙂

  • CTN

    Mid- I think a lot of what you said carries clout but Adams is too old and disconnected to get it right now- him and his puppet mcguinness have had 40 years to make progress.

    The IRA have been disbanded to make Paisley PM up north and now Adams (after his ham-headed media performances, and failure to convince members to remain within the fold) is the chief reason for the retreat of southern SF.

    They won’t gain any seats whilst they continue to lose members.

    Again I remind everyone this SF retreat took place just one week after the formerly Dublin based campaigns group Eirigi became an All Ireland Political party after hoovering up so many disgruntled shinners out there.

    Now that membership leeching will intensify especially in Dublin- the ultimate SF target zone for creating a presence.

    This is were Eirigi are to the forefront in organising high profile pickets, protests and campaigns outside the St Andrews stranglehold…

  • GavBelfast


    A good thing, IMHO, much as Diluted Orange has also implied.

  • Ian

    “Adams shouldn’t go near a presidential bid. It would be an exercise in nothing other than vanity, and it’s hard to see him winning.”

    I never assumed the talk of an Adams Presidential bid had anything to do with a realistic prospect of Adams actually winning the vote. Rather, I assumed it would be part of the tactical long game. Let me explain:

    SF have argued that the GFA guarantees the right of people of the north to identify themselves as Irish, and that this should be translated into the right to vote in the Presidential elections. (Also, MLAs should have certain speaking/voting rights in the Dail, presumably including nomination rights or Presidential candidates, thus allowing a northern candidate to more easily reach the 20 nomination threshold).

    If the southern government honour this commitment of the GFA, then Adams would stand as a Presidential candidate in 2011.

    Unionists would also have the right to vote and a certain proportion of them would do so in order to stop Adams, who would be expected to receive a sizeable vote from northern nationalists but would be unlkely to win as has been pointed out on this thread.

    However, the outcome of this scenario is that northern unionists would be, almost subconsciously, drawn deeper into the political affairs of the Republic. This ties in with SF’s north-south agenda. You’re seeing a similar effect this week, with Unionist politicians, commentators and posters on Slugger getting highly excited about the results of the election in what they supposedly consider to be a foreign state. (Much more so than they did about the recent Scottish elections, which occurred within the same nation state.)

  • Ian

    should read “nomination rights FOR Presidential candidates”

  • wise up

    Adams for President? HaHa. Who would want the brains behind the ‘dissappeared’ as PRESIDENT. We are not living in South America. The Freestate voters have rightly declared Adams a buffoon. There is a greater chance of a UI by 2016 than there is of this bearded clown becoming president and thats no chance.

  • CTN

    Not far of their wise- it has to be said I have heard Adams called many names in the past but his detractors always had enough regard for his ability on camera not to consider him a buffoon, but after his performances of late all that has changed utterly.

    I would stress on top of that, that Adams demonstrated himself to be a buffoon referring to MRSI instead of MRSA bugs, getting slamdunked on the economy and then unbelievably quoting his candidates to be standing in the wrong constituencies. The electorate then merely followed suit.

    It’s incredible that he waits for 13 years after the broadcasting ban to come to an end to offer his worst pile of gibberish yet!!

    Truly incredible that he did not even bother to note a couple of figures on the back of a matchbox to cover himself on the economy with.

    Tell me old learned legal eagle Chris Gaskin;- is this not a clear breach of his duty of care to the cause?….

  • A republican

    Is there a clip anywhere of McDowell bitchslapping him over the Northern Bank thing (and not something with some idiot loyalist scrawling over)?

    I had no time for McDowell’s politics beyond this – he understood as well as any democrat why the integrity of the Irish state had to be defended. He can be proud of the service he rendered to it on Prime Time

  • CTN

    Indeed in a sense fair play to McD as he has actually demonstrated how the integrity of republicanism is defended and progressed- by exposing Adams as a ham fisted phoney.

    What type of republican swaps a fully fledged army (not that it was commanded to achieve anything like it was under Michael Collins or Tom Barry) for the building of a political mass movement and then throws away the required inevitable electoral success by not acquainting himself with the key issues- then additionally dictates that he represents that party at the most important televised debate it has faced in decades and through his blatant ineptitude contributes to its ruination?