Sinn Fein to resign over any ‘wrongdoing’?

The Irish News reports Daithi McKay speaking about the furore surrounding the plans for the Causeway information centre, warned “that republicans might even look again at their role in the newly reconstituted government. If wrongdoing was proved, ‘we will review our situation within government'”. Which leaves the intriguing possibility that the party might collapse power sharing arrangements over a planning application. So far, there has been poor verbal footwork from Ian Paisley Junior, and possibly a need for an embarrassing shift in direction for that party’s Environment minister. So far, there is no smoking gun. But, resisting the temptation to future, it is certainly one for the record.

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  • ulsterfan

    McKay needs to be careful lest DUP steals his thunder by resigning first for some SF/IRA misdemeanour.
    In the end they will come to an arrangement to overlook any failings and remain the best of friends.

  • DK

    IS this setting the tone for the future: threats to collapse the assembly for leverage.

    Anyone know what happens if they do collapse it? Is it back to overlordship or are there elections?

  • Nevin

    “but again I caution this should not be a discussion about the applicant, the colour of his skin, his religion or his politics.” … furore link

    Funnily enough, colour and religion haven’t featured and AFAIK cronyism would appear to be a minor aspect of the investigations currently being pursued. The politics of diversion can’t disguise/obliterate the paper and money trails.

    Why would a Government minister make such a key decision if she does ‘not know the applicant, have never met him, and know nothing about him’, especially when, on July 9 this year, she dealt with the applicant’s plans for a controversial development in Coleraine?

  • Nevin

    Ulsterfan, McKay is a minor SF figure; the big guns appear to be keeping their powder dry.

  • Nelson

    Nevin,
    Whilst the ‘big guns’ havent been leading the way on this issue, i think thats more to do with profiling Mckay than anything else. SinnFein have put down a marker that if there is a smoking gun the guilty ministers must resign.

  • Nevin

    Nelson, McKay is as disposable as the former SF MLA, McGuigan – if he fails to remain on message. Also, it’s not much of a profile when you’re well behind the action.

  • Ian

    Nevin:

    “Funnily enough, colour and religion haven’t featured”

    Religion has – see Pete’s post on the possible link with the pro-Creationist lobby.

  • Nevin

    My mistake, Ian. I should have inserted ‘his’ or ‘the applicant’s’.

    The charge has been led by Sinn Féin’s Daithi McKay, the youngest MLA.

    Not exactly leading from the front!! The Slugger bloggers have been at the head of the field and McKay is well behind Ford.

  • Aaron McDaid

    More so than the other parties in NI, SF has a need to seem like a responsible party of government. If SF show principle on this issue (depending on what emerges on this) while FF continue to be as crooked as ever, then SF will become more electable throughout the island.

  • Tele

    The Belfast Telegraph is at the head of the field if you ask me Nevin, McKay was the MLA who first outlined the Sweeney connections to IPJ in the Assembly chamber so I would say hes ahead of Ford at least.
    David Gordon seems to be the main man in digging up the dirt though, doing a great job of it too.

  • George

    Aaron,
    More so than the other parties in NI, SF has a need to seem like a responsible party of government. If SF show principle on this issue (depending on what emerges on this) while FF continue to be as crooked as ever, then SF will become more electable throughout the island.

    But this won’t make Sinn Féin look like it is acting on principle, it will make them look like they are collapsing the arrangements.

    Surely it makes more sense to go after the “culprits” rather than the whole political system.

    Labour weren’t thanked for collapsing the FF/Lab coalition in 1995 on a point of principle.

    As for FF being crooked, would this be the same FF that SF were bending over backwards to please not five months ago in the hope of sharing power with them?

    Didn’t see much principle when they were changing policies on the hoof in the run up to the Dáil elections in the vain hope of attracting Bertie’s attention.

  • URQUHART

    The notion of SF as the moral guardians in the Assembly is just hilarious. At least more experienced comrades have the good sense and grace to keep their mouths closed.

    McKay is a dab hand at generating pubicity for himself. That’s all we’re looking at here.

  • Nevin

    Tele, the links between Paisley and Sweeney were talked about years ago on the BBC NI messageboard. You can read Paisley’s questions about a Sweeney development, The Nook, in the Northern Ireland Assembly debates back in September 2001.

    Gordon is doing an excellent job; I’d rate him #2.

  • ulsterfan

    SF will not collapse the assembly over this or for any other reason I can think.
    To them the peace process is sacrosanct and they will sacrifice every principle to this end.
    They think some objection should be registered and that is all.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Fair enough George. I suppose I just get carried away with dreams of having less corrupt politics.

    I suppose SF just have to make sure they aren’t blamed too for this (alleged) planning corruption.

    It might play into a theme of requiring more genuine independence in many areas of government (planning being just one such area). SF have talked before about “Patten”izing the Gardai, for example.

    Vote SF to get impartial delivery of government?

  • George

    Aaron,
    at the very strong risk of sounding trite, I most certainly don’t recommend them advising what should happen with An Garda Síochána when their elected TD’s are having themselves photographed with Garda killers.

    It simply won’t wash. Instead, it makes people’s blood boil.

    Sinn Féin have a long and lonely road in front of them south of the border and there are certain things they should simply avoid for the time being. Keep it simple boys and girls.

    Have a simple set of policies that they want implemented in return for supporting a government.
    XX million for childcare, yy million for cross-border projects etc.

    North of the border, things are different.

    There is a mandatory coalition there meaning they are in government. They have to show their own community that they are delivering while also trying to show that they are impartial.

    Can SF ride these two ponies at the same time?

    I don’t envy them their tasks north or south of the border.

  • Nevin
  • PeaceandJustice

    David McKay hints that Sinn Fein IRA might collapse power sharing arrangements over a planning application. SF IRA have a lot of skeletons in the cupboard (literally). David McKay is showing his immaturity. Should future allegations about the Northern Bank money collapse the Executive? Should allegations about the role of Martin McGuinness in the SF IRA terrorist campaign collapse the Executive? Should allegations about SF IRA links with Basque terrorists collapse the Executive etc?

    If this Sinn Fein IRA kid wants to play games, maybe the adults should start supervising him.

  • The Dubliner

    “Should future allegations about the Northern Bank money collapse the Executive?” – PeaceandJustice

    I think you’ll find that the Shinners are applying a very specific criteria to their new-found morality: it only applies to what is done by a minister while in office.

    So, they can ignore one of Europe’s wealthiest criminals, Thomas Murphy, as the head of what they regard as the legitimate government of Ireland, the Army Council, because, although he is a criminal ranked at No 1 on the UK’s Underworld Rich List, he is only corrupt in a ‘government’ outside of Stormont… and it’s only the ‘morality’ of what they do in Stormont that the Shinners are concerned about.

    Which, of course, suits both governments because part of the deal is that the Shinners can keep their millions in hidden wealth just as long as they keep their noses clean on the public stage.

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  • Nevin

    Margaret Hodge (WHS) and Conor Murphy (sewage) both feature in an update to the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre controversy yet they seem to have had little to say.

  • Nevin

    iruwc, there appears to be a problem with that blog – as well as with your hyper-linking.

  • Ian

    “I think you’ll find that the Shinners are applying a very specific criteria to their new-found morality: it only applies to what is done by a minister while in office.”

    In which case the Paisleys’ lobbying before they took office doesn’t count?

  • Nevin

    The Society of American Travel Writers annual convention ends in Manchester tomorrow. I understand some of these writers will then spend a little time here discovering what NI has to offer. The Minister for Tourism may have to field some difficult questions ….

  • Nevin

    Paisleygate: Paisley jnr lobbied direct rule Ministers

    speculation grows that the Causeway visitor centre issue was raised at St Andrews
    Friday, October 12, 2007

    By David Gordon

    Ian Paisley jnr lobbied the Direct Rule ministerial team on the Giant’s Causeway visitors’ centre issue in the run-up to the restoration of devolution, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

    DUP = Drip Unionist Party?