Donegal Sinn Féin councillor resigns from party

Frank mentioned this news in the comments zone here, and it was mentioned earlier on, but the accompanying statement that Donegal Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Pringle has reportedly made on resigning from the party sounds interesting.

Citing his disillusionment with the Sinn Fein party in a statement released within the past hour, Councillor Pringle says he has every intention to carry out the the rest of his term as a councillor.

Update More on that resignation here

Councillor Pringle announced his decision yesterday, stating the explusion of two members of the Donegal South West Sinn Fein Comhairle as one of his reasons for taking this decision to resign.


Speaking on Ocean FM, Senator Doherty said while he was disappointed at Clr Pringle’s resignation, he said Clr Pringle had problems intergarting with the party due to his political background as an Independent.

And Frank points to this comment on

Pringle in today’s Donegal Post.
“Since the General Election there was an opportunity to develop a bottom up rather than top down approach to decision making and allow the party to develop and grow. I regret that this opportunity has been missed.”
The Post says: “He was particularly disenchanted with the expulsion by Sinn Fein of two members in Donegal SW in recent months. One was Pettigo based Lawrence McManus. He declined to name the other.”
The Post says Pringle was upset at the leadership’s apparent willingness to enter coalition “with anybody.”
“They haven’t, but it’s not because they weren’t willing to. It’s because none of the other parties would speak to them,” says Pringle.

  • How many in Southern Shinners have left now since the election?

  • Turgon

    It is not just southern SF types pounder. Bernice Swift in West Fermanagh is another example.

  • harry

    where is his statement?

  • Pete Baker


    If I had it I would add it to the original post.. hence the “reportedly made”.

  • harry

    i feel the chickens are coming home to roost. the leadership’s strategy is beginning to unravel.

  • Frank Sinistra

    That’s a massive blow for Doherty. In 2002 Thomas was within 66 votes of him running as an Independent candidate for the Dail and topped the poll for his council seat in 2004. SF could have just watched 33% of Doherty’s vote disappearing over the hill.

    btw Pringle is an excellent and respected Cllr and there is no way SF are getting his fishing based vote back from him.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Given he is a Pringle, maybe it’s a case of: ‘once you pop, you can’t stop’! i.e. maybe he is finding it difficult that SF IRA are not murdering enough people at the moment.

  • Pete Baker


    That’s probably the most ill-informed comment you’ve made on slugger.

    To date, that is.

    Read the links and look at his history as an independent councillor who only joined SF after 2002.

  • Frank Sinistra


    Given he only joined SF in 2004 maybe you are talking crap.

  • The Raven

    It’s the fact that he felt the need to explain the “punchline” (I use the term advisedly) that lets the site down a bagful.

  • Pete Baker

    Which ‘he’ did you have in mind, Raven?

    And which “punchline”?

  • Steve BURN

    Mick a chara,

    May I please express, through your website, my condolences to the MEEHAN family in Belfast on the sudden tragic death of Martin aged 62.

    My thoughts are with them all and I am confident that Tuesday’s funeral will have seen a turn out befitting a man whose dedication and courage throughout the years will be an inspiration to all future generations of Irish Republicans.

    God Bless You cara,

    o’ do cara BURNSY

  • The Raven

    Apologies, Pete

    “Given he is a Pringle, [SNIP] not murdering enough people at the moment.”

    Posted by PeaceandJustice on Nov 06, 2007 @ 10:21 PM

    That “he” and THAT “punchline”.

  • joeCanuck

    I’m surprised you’ve let it stand Pete.
    That’s a scurrilous slight on the man, of whom I know nothing, notwithstanding the “maybe”.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Pete Baker – “look at his history as an independent councillor who only joined SF after 2002.”

    Who cares when he joined. He still associated himself with a bunch of terrorists who murdered people throughout the British Isles including the Republic of Ireland – terrorists who are very very proud of murdering people.

  • Pete Baker


    You’d be better advised to note your error and move on.

    Hint – Politics is all about the time and place.

  • sammaguire

    Peaceandjustice sounds like someone who’d be only too happy if they continued murdering people. Would you not like SF to slowly evolve into a “normal” political party in a “normal” society or do you just like hating them?

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Pete Baker – I’ve seen various allegations made against Unionists and the security forces on this site. Yet a joke about someone associated with a group who still has a terrorist council is not acceptable? Wise up!

  • Pete Baker


    If you want your comments to be considered as “a joke” then you should remember that there is no type-face that will be regarded as such.

    In other words, either stand by what you say, or don’t say it.

  • veritas

    does that mean that anyone who joined the DUP since 1986 is associting themselves with Ulster resistance and their non de-commissioned South African weapons or since 1994 with the LVF?

  • WR

    Since the elections there are regularly councillors quitting SF. Do you think these people are going on to other parties? Will Pringle remain an independent?

  • Garibaldy

    I think the numbers that have switched parties or become independent are actually fairly small. More multiple retirements all at the same time. This could be coincidence, it could be a deliberate policy to build up successors, or it could be the result of some very unhappy people across the island after the May elections. I suspect its a combination of the three, with most of them just retirements.

  • Pete Baker

    Some additional info on that resignation in the updated post.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Do they not have spellchecker at Ocean? Four errors in that one story.

  • Frank Sinistra


    Pringle in today’s Donegal Post.

    “Since the General Election there was an opportunity to develop a bottom up rather than top down approach to decision making and allow the party to develop and grow. I regret that this opportunity has been missed.”

    The Post says: “He was particularly disenchanted with the expulsion by Sinn Fein of two members in Donegal SW in recent months. One was Pettigo based Lawrence McManus. He declined to name the other.”

    The Post says Pringle was upset at the leadership’s apparent willingness to enter coalition “with anybody.”

    “They haven’t, but it’s not because they weren’t willing to. It’s because none of the other parties would speak to them,” says Pringle.

  • CTN

    Turgon- Has Bernice Swift left SF or is she still suspended without prejudice?

  • truth,hurts

    i am disapointed the way people have moved off the issue at hand which is ANOTHER sinn fein cllr resigning? i do think that sinn fein are having real problems especially in the 26 counties with there elected reps. I find it hard to believe sinn fein’s excuses that all of these cllrs were career driven and left when they couldnt see themselves moving up the ladder, maybe that could be said for a few but surely not them all. I think stating that cllr pringle couldnt intergrate into the party is just another one of these excuses. There must be about a dozen or so in the 26 counties and half of that in the north who have left. And one suspended BERNICE SWIFT from fermanagh, very strange you would think sinn fein would be trying to hold on to there cllrs, especially at the minute.

  • harry

    and of course the resignation of councillors is something the party cannot really hide.

    what interests me more is the number of members at a cumann level that are leaving. both north and south.

    if there was an accurate way to measure that, would make for very interesting reading.

    of course due to the nature of the local clubs it is very easy thing for the leadership to deny or massage.

    but i do know that large numbers are drifting away in my area. out of apathy more than anything else.

    i would imagine the leadship is more concrned at this, than the odd councillor

  • truth,hurts

    In most areas its the cllr that would take the leading role within that area, i totally agree with you HARRY that in most areas some sinn fein members have and are drifting from the party, and in my area i know this to be a fact. I now believe that the sinn fein leadership are totally removed from the grassroots and that is why people are moving away. The leadership hasnt shown the grassroots any respect in recent years and have pushed there strategy down peoples throats, this is something that seems to be comming back to haunt them.

  • BonarLaw

    truth, hurts

    “this is something that seems to be comming back to haunt them”


  • truth,hurts

    If sinn fein are now starting to see cllrs resign and party members leave because of the lies that they were told in reguards to joining policing boards and dpp’s than this will directly affect sinn fein at election time. You cant take people for granted and continually lie to them because sooner or later you will be caught out. It reminds me of some lyrics of a bob marley song
    “you can fool some of the the people some of the time but you cant fool all the people all the time”

  • Brian Boru

    I think this is exposing the fact that many joined SF when it seemed to be the way the electoral wind was blowing. When the opposite turned out to be the case, many are now the leaving the sinking ship. Bear in mind Cllr. Pringle is a former Independent. I think the key reason SF failed to make the predicted gains in Election 2007, was that the party leader was not a candidate in the South, and this came across in a big way in the small-party-leaders’ debate when Adams was challenged by McDowell on SF’s economic policies. Adams was seen as not really having an in depth knowledge of Southern politics and that really hurt the party. He kept referring to the Peace Process and this will seen by many voters as a straying from the topic he had been asked about. It would have been wiser for SF had they chosen their most senior Southern politician Caomhin O’Caolain instead.

  • truth,hurts

    brian boru
    you have a point that no doubt some joined the party at a time when the media was predicting them to do very well in the dail and local council elections and seen an opertunity to advance there own career. But the fact is some of these cllrs that left are seasoned sinn fein people and are about for along time. whats more anoying for republicans is that some of these cllrs were probley imposed on areas where other candidates had stood for years but were told to stand a side, nicky kehoe is a clear example this happening.

  • harry

    you may be right BBoru about those leaving at the moment being recent additions to the party.

    in my experience, the party has not really seen a huge influx of members as a result of the strategy they are currently following. they have seen a huge rise in switched over voters, but not members ,imo.

    those that are drifting, leaving, however are more long term people who have been around from before sf were the fashionable party they are today. i sense that they are pissed off the general direction of the party strategy.

    there were serious concerns over the decommisioning debate but this really became appearant at the policing debate period.

    there is a real need for grass root out reach rather than just unionist outreach.

  • DK

    “those that are drifting, leaving, however are more long term people”

    Good – these are probably more likely to be the sectarian extremists from the troubles. Can’t handle the peace and “having a prod about the place”.

  • páid

    Why Cllr Pringle ever thought that there would be a bottom-up approach beats me.

    SF closely resembles the British Labour Party. In fact, they almost resemble the Chinese Communist Party in their antipathy to careerists. Very few chiefs, Indians on (text) message if they’re lucky.

    Join SF if you’re prepared to work very hard as a community activist. As for your ideas on a new fairer Ireland, who gives a shit?

  • CTN

    Harry- You’ve blogged about SF cumman members leaving in their droves were you live.

    I know this to be a fact in Dublin in general and particular parts of Dublin in particular.

    Whereabouts do you know it to be happening?

  • harry

    newry and armagh area

  • CTN

    Harry- are you referring to the defections of Jim McAllister, Pat McNamee and others to Davy Hyland’s campaign, complete retirements from politics or both.

  • harry


    well most of those defections to the said people happened quite a awhile ago.

    most of the ones i am talking about have happened i think from outcome of the policing debate and march 8th.

    i think that most are pissed off that the leadership and elected reps are brown-nosing the unionists so much.

    further, to the grass root activist the only role they had was

    1 election preparation
    2 attending commemorartions or preparing them.

    i sense that there is disconnection between grass roots and leadership.

    most of the people that i know have “retired” (not that they are of that age). most of them expressed a interest in returning to sf if the leadership hardnened their attiude to whole thing

    most popular is the expression that there is no difference in the aims and tactics of sf now,than that of the stoops.

  • CTN

    A familiar pattern Harry

  • Sr Strangelove

    CTN – “I know this to be a fact in Dublin in general and particular parts of Dublin in particular.”

    Do you know why Felix Gallagher resigned ?

  • CTN


    Felix Gallagher hasn’t resigned from SF- just from the council and was chosen to outline his position on a TV documentary rather than Nicky Keough.

    According to SF this replacement was due to some preparation hitch in regard to Keough prior to brodcast.

    Gallagher is a bit of a brain-box and maybe felt tempted to further a more lucrative career rather than one of a SF councilor in what for many republicans is an inert and unproductive St Andrews phase…

  • harry


    what do you see as being the alternative for the republicans that we have been discussing. to remain in the pary at a low level, hoping to affect change from within ?

    to retire from the whole politcal game altogher or is there, realistically, another organisation that could give voice to their concerns.

    as i see it most of the people we have talked about,more intelleigent even more intellectual that the non thinking sheep who stay

  • CTN

    There seems to be a very wide range of people who have left the shinners harry- in the old days everyone who left and criticised Adams & co. was a militarist- now most who leave seem to be pro GFA but anti St Andrews and I would say the majority of “dissidents” are now actually politically minded rather than the original McKevitt or O’Bradaigh types.

    I don’t know what the alternative for them is but one thing for sure is that the people leaving now are no way natural born mavericks or splitters.

    I asked Rory how he got the information on the Nicky Keough blog about people outlined in his blog sceptical about Adams- if his blog is accurate then Dublin SF will either come back from the brink or disintregate within 2 years.

    Were do people go from here- I don’t know harry- I wouldn’t join anyone thats for sure- I reckon St Andrews is pretty unbreakable and the best republicans can do is try to improve things inside or outside it- whether thats inside or outside SF in a pressure group such as eirigi would be a matter for the individual- local factors and national trends will probably influence their decision.

    McGuinness and Adams are incompetant dictators who could have delivered much more.

    It remains to be seen if these constant resignations will be their undoing or if the arrogant pigs will hang on and drag republicanism into a deeper mess and a longer cul de sac….

  • Rory (South Derry)


    Sinn Fein will disappear within 2 years.

    The dublin faithful have had a gutful and given the performance of Adams in the lead in to the 26 County elections he has put the nail in the coffin lid.

    Pity as there were some really decent republicans caught in the crossfire of drivel from Gerrys mouth.

    Not surprised to hear that Donegal is in disaray
    The Provo Spin ain’t working anymore.

  • CTN

    Rory- have the guys you mentioned publicly spoke out against their leadership?

    Have any of them resigned?

  • Frank Sinistra

    I’d disagree that most SF members leaving of late are pro-GFA but anti-StAA.

    I’d go with they are just facing up to the fact the emperor has had no clothes for a long and giving themselves an opportunity to reassess and recommit to Republican politics. Biting the bullet, admitting they were wrong. For many it’s admitting the GFA was an absolute sham (something they felt from the start – ‘this isn’t a Republican document’) and for a lot the sham was confronted in the end for reasons of Socialism as much as Republicanism.

  • CTN

    Fair enough about the Constitutional aspect about the GFA, Frank but a lot of provies were cock a hoop about Trimble V Paisley canniabalisation of unionism which was a consequence of it and it was very much game on in terms of make hay whilst the rain peed on their enemies for republicans.

    Now the ambivalence/tacit support/hot and cold support/qualified support/call it what you will regarding the GFA has turned to resentment of the St Andrew’s cul de sac- were Unionism has united itself under a confident DUP and SF are freefalling in Dublin, largely due as Rory stated to Adams’ goof up on Prime Time.

  • Frank Sinistra

    It’s you, elements of the media and various interesting individuals, like Rory, that have a hard-on for Adams and the Provisional leadership and will make a big brouhaha. While most of those that were formers members/supporters walked away without a row, no declaration of treason or sellout, accepted their voice was unlikely to have any impact and decided to work within another sphere’s or join/create another group.

    I’m sure the shinner’s will survive, thrive even.

    I’m equally sure those that disagreed and walked away without malice or rancor will grow their own seeds, which may or may not become trees.

    It’s never going to be the nasty or debilitating realignment some would hope. The heads leaving are just a little bit to level to work an agenda mutual enemies would enjoy.

    Hell, I walked and I still happily talk with my local shinners on a range of interests we share.

  • CTN

    No erections matey- just telling like it is and on that point you neglected to mention that most who walked away have planted no trees just retired.

    We may go into how certain parties have tried to intimidate former SF’ers into returning and how that can cause rancour at another juncture…

  • Frank Sinistra

    They asked me nicely to come back. Before I left I with others tried to persuade a former member to rethink. I had coffee with a close friend who is a shinner yesterday and he was still trying to get me to come back.

    Never once, ever, heard of intimidation. Not even gossip and I’m one of the ‘splitters’.

    And while I can’t talk about all or most (as you seem able to do at every juncture) I know most of the people I know are still politically active and/or members of political groups.

    But hey, you tell us all how it works as you’ve been doing for months. Not like anyone would know better.

    You are a shit-stirrer plain and simple, waxing lyrical about stuff you have no experience of.

    Sorry to point it out so bluntly but when the emperor is wearing no clothes…..

    éirígí abu.

  • Rory (South Derry)


    The Hard On for Adams bollocks needs addressing!

    The man who lets forget was originally a sticky for few days pre the PIRA set up has fucked with peoples heads for years but this time during an election in the 26 Counties he was found out.

    The happy monday club that you claim to have with the shinners just about sums you up – deluded!

    Your friends have no morals or principles left if they ever had any.

    I rejoice in the demiss of these morons!

  • Frank Sinistra


    You are one angry man. Get on with doing your own thing. If you want to spend your life moaning about the Provisionals I suggest you join Ruairi’s mob where you can spend your life doing little else.

    Get on with doing and stop the bloody complaining.

    And I make no excuses for admitting; while I disagree with shinner direction and policy, I retain friendships, respect and accept the genuine belief of many in their current course.

  • Rory (South Derry)


    Eirigi Abu????

    As a resident of Bellaghy Co. Derry I struggle to see what the fuck Eirigi will ever achieve other than protesting publically, at things such as SHELL.

    Some of the members such as Domininc Og McGlinchey & his mate Mc Master especially have always talked revolution and philosphy and never taken it any further.

    I speak as someone who stopped the Provos from beatin the living daylights out of the both of them Pre- the PSNI acceptance.

    Eirigi me arse pal get a life!

    If ever there was a talk shop close to stormount a meeting of that rabble is the one.

    You seem to get more deluded each time you type are you sure you wouldn’t be better off as an IRP?

  • CTN

    As a supporter of eirigi you should no better than to get personal with about bloggers- I never claimed to know anyone by name- just as anonymous individuals attached to different parties.

    Because you haven’t heard of this type of attempted intimidation doesn’t mean it does not happen- c’mon you aren’t goin to tell us all you know everything that goes on.

    In regard to your stirring allegation- just telling it as it is Frank- all the resignations from Dublin SF aren’t down to my comments on Sluggerotoole.

    I’m merely talking after the horse has bolted and how Adams cant seem to close any of the stable doors.

    Its a shame you would rather get personal than calmly and fairly reflect on the facts…

  • Frank Sinistra


    Fair enough. Sorry for going for your ball. I’ve been finding it a tad annoying that you continually use éirígí’s growth as a stick to beat the shinner’s with when everyone I know involved is just committed to éirígí on it’s own terms.

    As for the intimidation, not saying it hasn’t happened just really, really surprised that it isn’t on the grapevine I’m on – ie. people who might experience it if it was true.


    We ain’t ever going to see eye-to-eye, who could. Best of luck with your one-man expose (it ain’t touting when they sellout?)

  • CTN

    Thanx for the apology Frank- its not that I use eirigi’s growth to beat SF with but that the caliber of the people leaving in general or defecting to eirigi in particular needs to be highlighted in order to illustrate how much of a human resource disaster Adams is.

    I know well that eirigi exist on their own individuality but as Mick Hall stated once it shows how poor Adams and Co are at communicating with their grass roots in Dublin that these fine republicans left to form another grouping.

    The growth of eirigi is mainly due to the failure of Adams and McGuinness to respect the voices of grass roots republicans and it is in the context of that I wish to see a new leadership emerge that could embrace all the grass roots republicans, this is why I attack the McGuinness/Adams autocracy which I see as a dead wood obstacle to future republican unity.

    As I stated in the initial blog the attempted intimidation (and I never stated who was responsible for it) is something which may be discussed at ANOTHER juncture…

  • Frank Sinistra


    To me it’s a hell of a lot simpler.

    Socialist Republicans (Connollyites) vs any old Republic/ans, if that.

    Socialism ain’t a tactic.

  • CTN

    Ok, but a lot of people now in Socialist republican groups tolerated SF membership for a long time and a new left leaning leadership hopefully could tempt them back into a bigger leftist party were they might be more effective with real electoral power.

  • CTN

    Headin out on the bear now people- toodle pip!

  • joe reid

    The Shinners used Lawrence Mc Manus in his home area of Pettigo to spin the “peace process” and to sell the surrender of republican principles as a victory. Like so many others used by psf,he is removed when he questions the leadership at cumann meetings.He achieved votes for psf and Senator Doherty will learn that these votes can be removed as easily as they were gained.