Sinn Féin MLA resigns from party

Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Gerry McHugh, has resigned from the party although from what I can gather he intends to remain in the Assembly as an independent MLA. I’ll add his own statement on his reasons for resigning when available but, for now, here’s the party’s version of events from Sinn Féin Assembly Group Leader John O’Dowd. Adds From the Irish News [subs req]

“I have been increasingly disillusioned with the totally undemocratic nature of the party and the wholly top-down dictation within it,” Mr McHugh said. “I feel the direction Sinn Féin is taking is more about appeasement of the British government and administrating British rule in Ireland rather than working towards the end of British occupation. Assembly structures support this – at both committee and plenary level unionists have majority control. What was agreed at St Andrews cannot be delivered without unionist approval.”

Update The Assembly biog of Gerry McHugh now notes his Independent status.Also from the Irish News report

“In the new year I will hold a series of public meetings to give people the chance to discuss the issues which are a priority for them and I will be inviting like-minded people to join me,” he said.

“I want to assure the electorate that I will continue to work hard for them both nationally and locally.”

Mr McHugh said Sinn Féin’s decision to endorse policing in the north was a “factor” in his decision.

“I have no difficulties with the idea of civil policing but I have a difficulty with the excessive amounts of MI5 and military spooks operating in the six counties,” he said.


“The fact that the PSNI is being used by MI5 for political policing here should be a major concern for everybody here,” he said.

Mr McHugh said he could use his independent status to further republicanism.

“I think I can bring forward the political republican agenda and fellow republicans as an independent and not be constrained by difficulties we have in the assembly with parties trying to appease each other, he said.

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  • Garibaldy

    Cheers for that Pete. I agree there’s no obligation to resign the seat. I just wanted to find out if the course of action suggested by some on here was actually practical or not within the rules of the electoral process. Looks like it isn’t.

  • Frank Sinistra


    iirc the SoS gets to decide on the mechanism for filling vacancies, so far he has only gone with co-option but by-elections were mentioned in the Northern Ireland Act.

  • cut the bull

    I seriously doubt that the seat belongs to the party as opposed to the individual.

    I understand that candidates give verbal assurances that if they leave the party, they
    would then give up the seat to be filled by a replacement.

    Why is it not a requirement to have such a pledge in writing. I believe this has not happened because the legality of such a pledge is questionable.

    Legally the party would have difficulties bringing a case against any one who wanted to leave the party and retain their seat.

    The act of asking that this pledge is made, is in itself undemocratic, is it not?

  • The Dubliner

    The calls for McHugh to resign his seat are really just calls for him to resign his objections to PSF and vanish into the wilderness, far from megaphones, newsreels and newsprint – typical Shinner fascist mouthpieces, propagandists and apologists calling for censorship as an alternative to debate.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Normally I would agree that a defecting elected rep should resign their seat but as Mick points out above it could be the party rather than the member that first broke the contract in this case.

    And SF really can’t make these calls to resign the seat with credibility – Gerry Murray and Billy Leonard being the main reasons.

  • Quagmire

    Why didn’t he resign earlier? Have SF only recently become an autocratic entity? Didn’t he read the GFA, especially the bit about policing? Was he not elected off the back of the extraordinary policing Ard Fheis in January? Very strange timing indeed me thinks. At least he’ll be worth a tap now with the extra £20,000 he’ll receive in his back account.

  • Pete Baker


    That’s the Chief Electoral Officer, not the SoS.

    And there is a procedure involved.

    As long as the relevant MLA has notified the CEO of up to 6 nominated substitutes.

    Only if none of those were available, or that none accepted the seat, would there be a by-election.

    I’m assuming the NI Assembly (Elections) Order 2001 hasn’t been superceded.

  • truth,hurts

    Also worth noting john ODowds earlier statement reguarding selection of candidates was wrong he stated himself and Gerry were selected after the Ard Fheis, i dont know about john but Gerry McHugh and the other sinn fein candidates for Fermanagh & South Tyrone were selected before the Ard Fheis on policing, and it was a case of only three names being allowed to go forward to the convention so in other words the membership had no choice as to who was selected, hand picked by the leadership, maybe thats why they are really pissed off with Gerry they thought he was just another sheep and wouldnt open his mouth. This backs up his statement reguarding no democracy in the party, even though he was party to it himsel?

  • Mick Hall

    “And SF really can’t make these calls to resign the seat with credibility – Gerry Murray and Billy Leonard being the main reasons.

    Posted by Frank Sinistra”

    Not much one can add to the above accept whilst McHugh might be a bit slow on the uptake as far as SFs leadership is concerned, he will be well aware that it is his access to the floor of stormont which will protect him from the worst of the SF smears.

    Can anyone tell me if a member of a police committee can gain information about the number of current and former members of the PSNI/RUC who have left the force and are now working for Mi5. Plus how many serving PSNI officers are currently seconded to MI5.

  • oflanns

    gerry and his comrades live on the wages off the british govt Their standard of liveing depends on them upholding the british agenda at stormount

  • MauriceOldfield

    Mick Hall, my old chap, do you not realise that the information which you are requesting is extremely sensitive and relevant to the national security interests of Her Majesty’s Realm and, as such, it could never, ever, even be countenanced that such sensitive information would be permitted to be divulged to those Paddies who sit on DPP’s or the Policing Board. Really, old chap, I have no doubt that there will be a few guffaws over the brandy and port later on when I re-tell that one to the old boys in the club.
    Must remember to send a memo to Hollywood and GCHQ about intercepting your mail. No offence, but you must understand that protection of national security interests is paramount.

  • Mick Hall



  • truth,hurts

    That would be very interesting if you could get that information, maybe some of the Sinn Fein cllrs sitting on the Dpp’s could bring it up at their next meeting? i know in fermanagh they are that confused about policing and he Dpp’s they might actually believe they would get an answer to that question. Have to agree with maurice, although that question should be put to alex maskey sinn fein’s policing spokesperson and new cheerleader for the PSNI.

  • Billy

    Ulster Scots

    “In 5, 10 or even 20 years time, NI will still be part of the UK”

    Do you know this for a certainty? I wish I had your abilities.

    Any chance of letting me know next week’s winning lottery numbers?

  • Frank Sinistra

    This could be interesting for the dynamic of the Assembly.

    While the ‘United Community’ and SDLP/UUP struggle (in vain so far) to create a sense of opposition Gerry McHugh, if he plays his cards right, could be an interesting challenge to one of the two big-brothers.

    Also worth pointing out is something that doesn’t seem to enter the discussion – Gerry McHugh is a committed and knowledgeable Agricultural advocate – losing one of your experts is bummer.

  • The Dubliner

    Frank, if the number of ministries that PSF have is calculated on the number of MLAs they have, how many MLAs would they need to lose before they lose a ministry?

  • Frank Sinistra

    Its calculated on designation at the start of the term. They could lose every rep but the Ministers and not lose a position. It’s democracy but not as we know it. FGS they even get to cast dead member’s votes.

    imo, if SF had went for ability over concern about ensuring they get MPs elected to Westminster we would have had McHugh as Agriculture Minister.

  • The Penguin

    “…with the totally undemocratic nature of the party and the wholly top-down dictation within it,”

    And you’ve only just noticed, Gerry? Give us a break, please.
    Strange how people only begin to rail against dictatorships when they get on the wrong side of the decisions.

  • Sir Herbert Mercer

    Given my general malice and belligerence, such attempts by the politically correct mafia to indoctrinate me into hating stereotype have been counter-productive, and I therefore like categorising people: Sinn Fein MLAs are no exception and I have found them to fall into one of three groups:
    1 .Those that matter- the Conor Murphys, Martin McGuinnesses and Michelle Gildernews of this world.
    2. The Loyal Yes Men: those that have been around a long time and will follow the leader always. The party tends not to drop people like this, but is prepared to exploit them for the party’s gain. Examples include: Alex Maskey, Barry McElduff, Mitchell McLaughlin and probably even Catrina Ruane.
    3. Those that don’t matter: people for which the party has little attachment for these. Their sole purpose in life is to vote and do what they’re told but they may be dispensed at anytime. Commonly unheard of. Examples include/used to include: Davy Highland, John Kelly, Dathi McKay, Caral Ni Chulin, Mickey Brady.
    Until a day or two ago Gerry McHugh was a type two but now he’s off.
    One can only wonder what FST’s ballot Paper will be like next time round

    Elliot UUP, I’m a unionist and I’m from North Fermanagh
    Foster DUP, I’m a unionist too but I got more votes than Tom last time
    Gallagher, SDLP – I’m a nationalist but I don’t think it’s ok to kill people
    Gildernew Sinn Fein- I’m a republican: sometimes I support the police, sometimes I don’t but I have this seat so vote for me to keep out those pesky unionists
    McHugh, Ind, I’m a republican, but I don’t think Sinn Fein is democratic enough
    McGeogh, Ind – I’m a republican, but I don’t think Sinn Fein is Catholic Enough
    Some RSF “martyr” – I’m a republican, a trot, I hate the police and want to get shootin’ ‘em

  • Objectivist

    ”I’m a nationalist but I don’t think it’s ok to kill people ”
    That’s good enough for me.

  • The Raven

    Wow…who’d be a voter in Fermanagh, eh?

    So anyway…who’s given much thought to Giggles Gildernew’s management of DARD thus far? Anywhere else in the world and she’d be out on her lovely big arse by the weekend.

    Wonder how big a factor the farming vote will play the next time round….?

    Just an OT thought.

  • Garibaldy

    Herbie has missed out Fianna Fáil but.

  • The Dubliner

    Thanks for the info, Frank.

    I hate to celebrate the misfortune of others but political unravelment couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. Hopefully FF will go north next year and finish them off.

  • dewi

    Turgon will be on the ballot paper in FST; Slogan –
    “Putting the fun into fundamentalism” – best I can do sorry.

  • Hogan


    I am willing to stand corrected but i seem to remember when Michael Ferguson died none of his six nominations came forward to take his seat.

    There were rumours that none of them got the rubber stamp of the connolly house thought-police at a time of sensitivity over PSNI debate and so were ‘encouraged’ not to put themselves forward when the electoral officer gave them the call.

    So perhaps SF don’t have the most glorious record when it comes to nominations?

  • Redhaze

    Hogan or anyone,

    Anyone know who the six nominations were for ferguson?

    Might make sense because the guy who did fill his shoes (not that he could fill them in a real sense)would be a very loyal upholder of what the leadership tells him.

  • Mick Hall

    Sir Herbie

    One should never underestimate those loyal types, there is often more to them than political leaderships often believe, as Margaret Thatcher found out to her cost when Geoffrey Howe turned around and bit her so hard it all but destroyed the old hag.

  • man on the planet

    He was elected, however, on the basis of his former adherence to Sinn Féin and it’s programme and if he has now abandoned that programme and loyalty to that party integrity now demands that he resign his seat and offer his newfound principles to the electorate. His failure to so do calls that integrity into question.


  • realst

    to steal a phrase the tails wagging the dog since gerry martin and pat hijacked the republican movement endevouring to lie cheat and murder (inclusive of our own)when nessaccery in order to acheive their own agenda in accordance with whitehall masters.
    Time will unveil the truth and extent of the so called leaderships treason.
    Republicism could never have arrived at this sad state we find ourselves in by the hand of the british alone were it not for the traitors within
    It could only have come to this as a result of LEADERSHIP TREASON.Dissenting from the origional stance of armed struggle was bad enough but to take side with the enemy in order to destruct the republican movement from within ensuring the lesser likelyhood of any other carrying on the fight is much more treacherous.I tip my cap to Gerry Mc Hugh as late is better than never and if by doing so he has changed the view of 10 of his voters at least away from the wrong direction.
    I had always as a republican excepted that the truth in time of war could not be ruled out as a casualty due to propaganda etc. however what the british led leadership has come down to ,we would never have tolerated from anyone let alone the british

  • Rory (South Derry)


    Well put pal!

    The Republican movement that PSF now represent are not the one that anyone died or went to Jail for!

    British Rule has been cooperfastened by the SELL OUT agenda of the provo’s – Martin Gerry & Pat promised that getting the Brits out would never come of the agenda but it has and infact they now administer the state for the Brits with a British Rule Broke.

    Gerry McHugh must be saluted as proper republican with principle and a knowledge that the Shinners are bunch of child murdering, smuggling gangsters
    who have no principles whatsoever!

  • Sir Herbert Mercer

    Mick Hall is taking the Thatcher parallels a little too far I fear. Is one really to expect a SF nodding dog like Francie Brolly to end Adams’ career as leader?

  • Tara


  • realst

    and to u Rory .
    Shamefully i will admit to having surcumbed to the sheepologie which has been so successfully spewed out by the treason weavers of spin fein.
    However recent events have awoken the part in me that calls a spade a spade.
    Many times in the past whenever the reason would occurr that i would question a specific decision id always end up relying back to the old days when the general thought would have been (they`ve done ok up until now)not anymore as i`ve taken off my spin fein supplied blinkers and only recently began paying an interest in many conspiricy theories from the vast field of subscribers from all angles. wheather the sources are to to be trusted or not something has caught my attention in the extreme.
    From personel factual events that have occurred and involved key figures in relation to some of the related reports i have been able to draw up my own timeline and with amazement i just wish i could get a new glove to fit as well.
    I now find myself in a position of not knowing who to take it to at the same time asking myself how many of us are there and what kind of picture would come into focus should all this be accumulated.
    To approach marty or any of the mafia to have an army convention called to deliver the outstanding questions like why was freddie allowed to remain in the position for so long contradicting standing army orders etc etc etc etc he`d say what army council.(what used to be so convenient for press rebuttles is now used against us)
    I don`t think i`d want to go down that road. You only have to listen to the JARGIN coming from the english brits,free state brits and all collaborators as to the murder of young quinn.
    How ever its said that the truth always finds its way to the surface and so long as just a few have a good memory and lack fear of speaking the truth there`ll be no hiding place.
    Would it not be inspiring that someone/anyone would be able to manouver some of the above mentioned to a position that would require them to give direct answers to direct questions as to their involvement.
    The whole plot up til now appears to have been corrographed by mi5 etc as every last minuite particale appears to have been sorted right down to the disembowlingment of Noraid by we all know who and at the behuest of we all know who.
    One would have imagined the leadership would have wanted to sort that one out unless thats the way they wanted to leave it (just in case some of those true republicans would conjur up a good source of finance).
    Id be very happy to submit my timeline findings should anyone be requesting stats of that nature.

  • Tara

    I find it incomprehensible that Mr McHugh intends to hold on to his assembly seat. I voted for Mr McHugh in the assembly election but only as a Sinn Fein candidate. I do not support his stance as a so called Independent. Resign from the assembly and all it stands for if you mean what you say. Unfortunately I fear you are just turning into another career politician who has gotten too big for his boots.

  • realst

    say hallo to democrecy

  • get real

    Gerry is certainly not a career politician who has got too big for his boots. He has been a member of SF over 30 years and leaving has been very difficult for him I’m sure. He just came to the realisation that the Sinn Fein electorate have been fooled. He will not be the last to go. There are many MLA’s and councillors who are very annoyed with what is going on within the party and within the Assembly. You may have voted Sinn Fein but they are certainly not working for you or the republican movement. Anyone who voices concern or who wants to ask a probing question is sat on and sidelined, they are effectively gagging politicians. Their only concern is to bring through motions that will keep the status quo. Gerry may have stood for Sinn fein and it’s mandate but as far as I can see he is at least trying to follow the path he signed up to and promised the elcetorate. Incidently try looking at the members of the Regional Development committee not 1 west of the Bann and of the 3 SF members 1 belfast and 2 Down. Where is Sinn Fein’s great equality strategy there? Gerry’s constituents are certainly being ignored despite living in an area recognised as having some of the worst roads in the 6 counties.

  • get real

    That sounds like a very bitter person those in fermanangh know all about Erne East and it’s party control. Try going a bit further afield and listen to the people in Erne West. As for sitting cosy by the fire…to quote Bobby Sands ‘Everyone has their part to play’ Get your facts right as to what part Gerry’s was.

  • willowfield

    What exactly is McHugh resigning about? What have the Provos done since the election that he thinks they ought not to have done?

  • get real

    hardly a reason to encourage voters to vote for Gerry in case he jumps off a building!

  • Mick Hall

    Years ago when people like Anthony McIntyre were slandered with words not dissimilar to post 12 above some people listened as they did when similar smears were put in against John Kelly and others.
    But those days are long gone and today they have the opposite effect as this thread has shown, for they only expose SF leadership as being weak, incompetent or nasty.

    If there was any truth in ‘tell da truth’ words then the question he should be asking is why the Adams leadership allowed such a man to represent SF in the Assembly. Surly he/she should be pleased that Gerry McHugh has left the party but no he comes on slugger instead with bile on his pen.

    The question of resigning is interesting and taking responsibility for once actions is to be admired, but I fear it is unwise for shinners to go there for some might ask why Adams and McG did not resign from SFs leadership when Donaldson, their point man turned out to be an informer and earlier when they both sat on the army council and Scapitticci touted and worse.

    Im afraid some times in politics it is better to say knowt and take it on the chin and McHugh’s resignation from SF is one of them; and after sucking shit from his leadership for so many years I am sure many Republicans hope Gerry now returns the compliment.

  • Tara

    Gerry is quite entitled to his opinions and some of them may even be arguable but the fact remains he won his seat because he stood as a Sinn Fein Councilor and he should resign his seat. If he wishes to stand as an Independant in the future, then that is his right. As someone who has known Gerry personally for many years I think his decision to resign was partly based on the reasons given and partly due to personal influences around him. I have always had respect for Gerry as a comrade but the way he has conducted himself by running to the press is very disappointing. What ever issues he had with the party should have been dealt with through the proper channels. Gerry is well aware that the press are no friends of republicans and that to use them to this end is despicable. Perhaps the greatest reason for his resignation was because of a personal relationship which it seems dictated the pace in his life rather than his electorate. His personality and principles have changed from the man I used to know and this is most regrettable. I have no problem with democracy but I abhor this running to the press and claiming to be ultra republicans. I have no doubt that anyone worth their salt republican wise would think longer and harder before resorting to the old enemies of the press as allies. They will tear you down Gerry as soon as they get their teeth into you, surely you must know that by now. Despite whatever differences we republicans may have we should stand together, remember the British motto “divide and conquer” .

  • capricorn

    McHugh was treated the same as Bernice Swift, they are brave to stand up for republican ideals.

  • Mick Hall


    You sound like one of those nasty old queens who pretend to care about someone whilst tearing them to bits.

  • Frank Sinistra

    So that’s:

    Cllr Bernice Swift – SF rep on the Committee of the Regions and project manager for Fírinne.

    Cllr Gerry McHugh MLA – senior SF policy advisor for Agriculture and Rural Dev

    And the mud being throw is something to do with coats and personal relationships? What a load of crap and a terrible reflection on those thinking spreading it does anything other than make them look nasty.

  • Tara

    I have no interest whatsoever in tearing anyone to shreds, I am just disappointed thats all. I respect anyones point of view and everyone is entitled to that but why run to the press. What is to be gained from that? Other than drumming up a storm amongst republicans!

  • The Christmas Turkey

    Tell da truth….who is forty coats, I am new to this place and you are gonna have to fill me in?

  • realst

    calm down we can all talk to the lady in question
    she`ll be answering the phones at the office next week

  • Frank Sinistra

    Thank god the shinners sorted this out for us.

    Bernice Swift has too many coats and Gerry McHugh has a girlfriend. It’s like the scales have fallen from my eyes with these vital details.

    I bet they are working for the branch too, bloody crazy dissidents the pair of them.

  • The Christmas Turkey

    What lively debate! Well having read up on the comments so far, I now get the picture a bit better! Well it seems to me that certainly the last port of call any right minded republican would make is the press. After years of the press castigating republicans why would any republican wash their dirty laundry in public, I just don’t know! As for Gerry McHugh’s resignation, well, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. I have no doubt that he may have become disillusioned with certain decisions that were made by the party but I really don’t think thats the whole story. Besides as a member of Sinn Fein are there not structures he should have gone to before going to the press. I read that Micheele Gildernew only found out about his resignation from the press, is this really the way a long standing member of a party conducts his business. It would seem to me that for some time now Gerry has become more and more of an independant in every respect so I totally agree that he is better suited to stand as one, but his seat was won under the banner of a Sinn Fein candidate and it would seem more honourable that he resign from that seat now and go to the electorate as an Independant. I for one never voted for Gerry as an individual, I voted for the party. To be frank I would not trust someone who runs to the press rather than the party he is affiliated to in order to resign. I withdraw my vote and Mr McHugh no longer represents my voice. I cannot understand why he did not tell his party associates in person or if his views were so strongly held, why they were so shocked when this happened. I notice from Tara’s message above that Mr McHugh was involved in a relationship, first I heard of that! I would be interested to know what bearing that had on his decisions. As for Bernice Swift, well, as another contributor put it, Bernice who?

  • mary

    Do you not know the whole story bout his other half! I thought the dogs on the street knew that! No problem having a girlfriend but when she is a control freak with a very dodgy background, enough said!

  • The Christmas Turkey

    [Once more. Drop the sock-puppets – edited moderator]

  • Mick Hall

    May I put a question to some of those supporters of SF who have posted to this thread, if McHugh had not resigned from the party, would you on a public platform have mentioned the lady in question, If not then perhaps you should take a long hard look at your behavior.

    I find this type of behavior sad as many if not most of the shinners I have dealt with over the years are fine people, it is as if when an issue like this arises some members and supporters seem to loose control and attempt to browbeat by any means political opponents down, especially if those opponents are republicans too. This type of behavior seems to me to be more prevalent in the north than the south, which is perhaps understandable but this does not make it correct.

    Many of those who were tagged dissidents have slowly come to realize, as Frank S and others have pointed out that it is possible to have differences with fellow republicans without descending into the gutter.

    I do not understand why shinners need to strike low blows as they have a sound argument about McHugh resigning his seat, although myself I do not see it as for me political considerations over-ride moral issues, but then I would say that as I see stormont as a swamp all be it a swamp that needs a non SF republican voice.

  • The Christmas Turkey

    Well, if it was a case that a partner had influence over his decision that is sad.

  • Frank Sinistra


    It’s not nice stuff to witness, like a red mist descending and all possibility of putting a legitimate and coherent point getting lost in a desire to lash out.

    Those involved should, as you suggest, really examine their behaviour. The only thing they damage is the reputation of the party they belong to with these childish attacks.

    They should deal with the politics instead of jumping into a sewer. The strange thing is I’m sure those involved in the attacks are normally decent people and for some reason lose the run of themselves when faced with an opponent who is also Republican.

  • The Christmas Turkey

    Ah cheer up Mick, I’m not the one that ran to the press to sort out my differences! Shame on anyone calling themselves a republican and going over their comrades heads to the press, it is a despicable act and deserves all the sarcasm its attracting. When have the press ever done McHugh or indeed Swift a favor? Have they not been trained to handle the press? This time they decided to use it against comrades and that is lower than low in my book. Actually worse than being an informer! Even if you disagree with certain party issues, these should be dealt with quietly and professionally, not by releasing condemnations in the Irish News. Would you not agree? I am sure there is many a republican who do not sit comfortably at the moment but they have the decency to bring their concerns to the relevant people at an appropriate time. Shame on them both!

  • mary

    Here Here

  • Christmas Turkey

    Yes, I must admit that I haven’t seen much in the local papers from Gerry of late, in fact, not for a long time. There was a time when he was in the paper every week but he sure made up for it on Monday!

  • Christmas Turkey

    It also seems that all we have heard is about the problems Gerry had with the party but from what I hear he had been doing his own thing for quite a while and the party where less than amused with his carry on. Picking and choosing what he attended and didn’t attend like an Independant anyway. Seems he was a law unto himself anyway, so its best he does his own thing now.

  • Tara

    On a political level when a politician gets to that point they are flying their own balloon and not that of their party anyway. Its seemingly alright for him to call the parties accountability into question but that works both ways! What about Mr McHugh’s accountability? Was he doing his utmost for the electorate? Was he taking guidance and support from the people around him? It seems he was not, that lately Gerry seemed to hold everyone and everything in contempt. That speaks volumes for his own personal frame of mind and judgment! It seems that he isolated himself from everyone of late for whatever reason, people who he had worked with for years. Perhaps he needs to take a complete break from political life and sort out his personal life before entering into the ring as an Independant!

  • Tara

    It will be very interesting to see, won’t it?

  • rent a character assassination

    Tara, TdT, EWiB, CT

    why dont you all turn round and speak to each other rather than subjecting us to your blathering

  • Tara

    Yes, despite his misgivings with certain decisions taken by leadership, what about all the other important issues he could have been addressing in the past few months. That is why we voted for him as a Sinn Fein representative, and he did not keep his side of the bargain, prefering instead to nit pick and cavort with the press on the wrong issues.

    For those who say I may be giving a Gerry a hard time, after the press release he issued to the Irish News, is it not my right to speak back and to call his actions into question? By issuing his statement in the wording he did, he not only called the leadership into question….he called every single person who voted for him into question.

    As a life long republican I am angry at Mr McHughs actions, he used to be my comrade, he now tries to put himself above me and his voters. The electorate will not stand for this and he will be crucified at the polling stations. Perhaps this is why he needs to hang on so desperately to the seat he has under false pretenses.

  • get real

    It is very sad to see so called republicans resorting to the gutter and the usual name blackening instead of discussing the political issues this debate has highlighted. The management in Fermanagh know full well how badly they have handled this county for a very long time. Gerry did go through the correct structures of complaint but as sf activists in the county know full well they were completely ignored. All the sf councillors signed a letter expressing the same complaints but that was ignored too. Michelle Gildernew was perfectly aware of the situation and is lying through her teeth. As for the press Gerry has made his statement, he chose not involve any more national media. When the full inquiry ordered by sinn fein leadership is undertaken then we’ll see. In the meantime stick to the facts.

  • saveus

    I have to say, as a life long active republican, can I disassociate myself from the nasty spiteful, bitter and absolutely disgraceful comments about Gerry.So do we judge politicians on their relations now in Fermanagh, in Stormont or the Executive there would be many a red face!!! For Fuck sake let the man go with the dignity he deserves having committed most of his life to the cause, fight harder at the next election and win the seat back but for fuck sake behave like republicans

  • Tara

    Dear “rent a character assanination” I think we have as much right to express our views as anyone else here. When you play with fire it has a nasty habit of burning a little, so get over yourself!

  • Tara

    If I was calling the leadership of Sinn Fein into question [text -removed – save us the lurid man playing – mod>].I would expect to be talked about too.

  • Tara

    I will go away now and let the man “go with dignity”, he had that choice himself, he lost his dignity when he resorted to the gutter press!

  • saveus

    Jesus Tara & Co,if you have no self respect then at least respect the movement you appear to be advocating, do you know how bad you appear ? do you care?

  • rent a character assassination


    “If I was calling the leadership of Sinn Fein into question and sleeping with the daughter of a high ranking british enemy”

    that about sums up the comments of you and the rest. attack the leadership and we will smear you over the web. your attacks are disgusting and your idea of political discourse is fascist. Its not hard to see who you work for. I’ll go on now my point is made and i know when to leave it (unlike yourselves). By the way good luck when you get stuck into the radio phone ins and letters to the editor pages tomorrow

  • get real

    Cornered rats eat each other. no matter how much you try blackening Gerry or the very talented woman he has working for him the end of the erne east empire presided over by a self appointed leader who others blindly follow is near. The leadership with gerry’s co-operation will ensure that. This is a wake-up call for them they have ignored the grass roots activits in their hurry to get into power. better to have gone slower and brought all of the people with them.

  • realitycheck

    Erne East empire, I am completely lost! Self appointed leaders who are blindly followed? I don’t follow at all?

  • get real

    Sean Lynch

  • saveus

    [repeated sock-puppetry and impersonation = Red Card – moderator]

  • saveus

    That last comment is not from me the “real” saveus and I would ask Mick to look at it as there appears to be a lot of mixing on this site today.

    Erne West the commentary has been a disgrace from republicans,read my original post on this issue. Many of Gerrys criticisms are valid, regardless if they are the reasons he left or not sin e.

    For you a simple answer dont vote for him next time better still go join SF and actively canvas against him,

  • Granni Trixie

    Discussions on why Republicans are falling out is fascinating to someone like me who never for one moment supported the physical force tradition, a kind of elephant in the room as far as I am concerned (unless one subscribes to the view that to support the peace process one has to have amnesia).

  • get real

    I didn’t post that last comment

  • truth,hurts

    Erne west is the best
    you are a complete asshole you havent a clue what your talking about FIRSTLY Gerry McHugh is a very hard working cllr and one of only a few that actually does good work for the area he represents. You said “When I needed help with a query it was the girls in the office with their professionalism that gave me the support and answers that I needed. Thats the biggest load of shite i have ever heard any time when i phoned that office that no one ever answered, maybe they were to busy smoking out the back? you actually sound like your one of the “girls in the office” blowing your own trumpet, the knifes are out for Gerry now, and anyone that knows him wont believe the rubbish your speaking. Tell the truth your not a Erne west voter, because if you were you had THREE SF cllrs in Erne West that you could have contacted at any time, Gerry not being one of them. I suspect i know who you are and this is personal between yourself and Gerry.
    Gerrys departure from sinn fein will no doubt affect a few office staff and their wages?

  • get real

    [get back to the ball – edited moderator]

    Stick to the politics or is that beyond your capabilities. out of interest there is an ex army soldier on the monument to volunteers killed in roslea he was good enough to be a republican.

  • truth,hurts

    Having gone back and reading the previous few pages i am totally shocked that some of the people leaving messages especially,TARA,MERRY CHRISTMAS and MARY. you all have really lowered yourself to start talking about someones private life and their relationship with someone. It really sounds like you are all current Sinn Fein members and are trying to damage Gerry’s reputation, you all seem to know alot more than the ordinary Sinn Fein voter would regurding Gerry’s personal life, you cant convince me otherwise
    . If this is the level of your political intelligence and how you can engage debates i would recommend that you also resign from the party as your an embarssment.

  • get real

    what a surprise out of 8 councillors in strabane only 3 volunteered for the policing boards the spare seats were donated to the DUP. perhaps Gerry had a point I was told recently in Dungannon it was the same there they had to coerce people into joining. Perhaps the sf leadership will start listening now and review their direction. The people on the ground as well as those in elected position should stop vilifying everyone who doesn’t toe party line and look at ways of including them in discussion that is acted upon before more supporters walk. most people who signed up to policing didn’t read the small print and trusted that party leadership could deliver what they promised. roll on may 8th.

  • truth,hurts

    Merry Christmas and Mary you should try and disguise yourself abit better seeing as your both the same person as your Email proves
    Your obviously not to BRIGHT.
    Very Very pathetic, writing questions and then answering them YOURSELF. What and who’s agenda are you working to, its certainly not a Republican one.

  • Frank Sinistra


    To clarify from earlier you said Gerry confirmed he was not an ex-prisoner. He was interned though?

    It was raised as an issue by the SF cadre loading the thread with smears so it might be helpful to clarify if his prison based credentials equal that of their non-IRA leader.

  • get real

    no gerry was never interred.

  • tweedledee

    Mick Hall,

    it is possible to have differences with fellow republicans without descending into the gutter.

    It’s the nature of some humans, regardless of their political affiliation. This latest SF-multi-persona reminds me of the SDLP-multi-persona who entertained this website after the Assembly elections.

  • realst

    it may appear to be the nature in some humans but definately all politicians.
    Not to worry i`m sure the chuckie sorri chuckle twins and donald will be giving us nice people a beautiful golf course with 1,600 new houses etc (when one door closes another one opens for sweeney and the gang)
    Can we have a nice casino to go with it (what`s that u say) we`re getting 1 each for the lads.
    I can just imagine the headache this will give the land registery office. But nothing to fear as long as its all boxed off with whitehall as part of their retirement fund. We could call it the TREASON LINKS.

  • Redhaze

    Tara, Christmas Turkey, etc,

    Your comments have been nothing short of a disgrace. Really.

    First off, you are making all types of claims about what Gerry didn’t do, ie. go through the proper channels before going to the press.

    Its quite obvious that you have no clue what you are talking about. Did you read the Fermanagh Herald yesterday? There were numerous attempts to go through the ‘proper channels’ but to no avail. No surprise really. Tell me this though, if someone resigns are you suggesting that they should not explain themselves to the public via an appropriate media outlet? Shou,d they just leave it open to speculation, or better still allow people like you to explain it? Judging by your comments here i’m sure all neutrals, at least, will see the sense in him being pro-active in explaining himself.

    Secondly, all this talk that he stood as SF so he should no resign the seat is pure hypocrisy. Full stop. SF had absolutely no problems with people who stood as one thing, only later to join SF, bringing with them their seat, won under another label. So any SF’ner who is not just as indignant and calling for SF and the likes of Billy Leonard (RUC/SDLP Cllr), Thomas Pringle (Independent Cllr Donegal, in SF, now back out) and Gerry Murray (FF Cllr, now SF) to hang their heads in shame is an absolute hypocrite and fool.

  • truth,hurts

    Totally agree with you Redhaze some of the comments by these people were a discrace, but i suspect that they had a personal grudge with gerry to settle.
    From the Impartial Reporter

    Fermanagh/south Tyrone MLA Mr. Gerry McHugh has resigned from Sinn Fein citing “bullying” from leadership at a local level.

    The Enniskillen Councillor said that “local bullying” was the catalyst behind his recent resignation. Describing himself as “hamstung” by the party, he said his questioning of Sinn Fein Minister Conor Murphy about Enniskillen’s congestion problems in the Stormont Assembly had got him in “considerable trouble”.

    “I can say what I like now in the Assembly chamber. To me that makes a big difference. It is with tremendous regret I have to leave the party. I have worked hard for them through the years. There have to be good reasons for someone like me to walk away,” he said.

    A member of Sinn Fein since 1980, he said he has noticed changes within it in recent years.

    “Locally how I did my work would have been questioned all the time. I would have been bullied into how I did my work. It put particular pressure on me personally to actually make this move. I feel with my experience I know well enough how I did my work and what I should put in the press. Sometimes I did not agree with the party on what to say on a subject including the NIPSA strike.

    I was demanded to speak on behalf of the party and I wasn’t sure it was the right thing for Fermanagh. Independent thought is not certainly encouraged in our part of the locality,” he said.

    “Since I have gone into the Assembly . . . the driving forward for a united Ireland seems to be on a back burner in order to keep co-operation with the two big parties.

    “Since I have been elected I have noticed a considerable change away from what people wanted to where we are now.

    “I am not isolated on this,” he said.

    He rejected claims that the party had not been made aware of his concerns. He said he and all other the Sinn Fein Councillors on Fermanagh District Council 12 months ago, excepting Pat Cox who was away, wrote to the party’s Six County Committee about concerns they had, including issues surrounding policing.

    Asked if there was a crisis in Sinn Fein in Fermanagh he said: “That is for them to decide whether or not they are”.

    At Assembly level he found he “could not always speak on issues that I wanted to for Fermanagh in particular”. “The Roads DRD committee has 11 members, none of them west of the Bann. Three Sinn Fein members are east of Bann. Imagine the kind of representation we are getting,” he said.

    He referred to the dictatorship within the party. “We would have a code of regulations on how to say things and how to do things actually from the Six County committee. That is a few people who are Belfast-based,” he said.
    He loses a base in the Sinn Fein Market Street office in Enniskillen but said constituents could contact him on his mobile phone.

    “I intend to work on the local and political agenda in a Republican way. I will use my platform in a Republican way,” he said.

    Earlier this year Councillor Poilin Ui Cathain resigned her seat over the issue of policing and in recent months Councillor Bernice Swift was suspended from the party over her comments about policing.

  • realst

    The 3 amego`s run the show. u say as they say u do as they say. suffer all the little sheep

    DISCONTENTION WILL NOT BE TOLERATED They haven`t gone away ye know.

  • Ba Ba Black Sheep

    What utter dribble!

  • snakebrain

    Bloody hell, what went on in that thread goes a long way to confirm McHugh’s view of SF.

    I think there was even somebody attacking him for “questioning the leadership.”

    Blackshirts in waiting..

  • Mikey

    Only one winner when people talk like this and that won’t be SF, McHugh, or any contributors to this site.

  • Mikey
  • Mikey