“personal reasons” cited for refusal of DPP seats..

Whilst the party was quick to act against Cllr Bernice Swift, the Irish News reports today that Sinn Féin is to take no disciplinary action against the 5 Sinn Féin councillors in Strabane who refused to take the party’s allocated seats on the local District Policing Partnership and Pat Doherty, MP, MLA, reiterated that the party is “fully committed to engaging with all of the policing structures.” But according to the Irish News report [subs req]

Sinn Féin last night said it was a matter of “individual choice” and it was not considering disciplinary action against the councillors who had failed to put themselves forward.

The three SF councillors who have taken seats on the DPP are named as Ivan Barr, Claire McGill [MLA] and Brian McMahon. Which means that the Council Chairman, Gerard Foley, along with Daniel Breslin, Kieran McGuire, Charles H McHugh, and Jarlath McNulty all refused – despite the reported internal party wrangling. The Irish News report also, helpfully, provides the following, unenlightening, comments.

Charles McHugh, one of the three councillors from the [Derg] ward, yesterday refused to comment on his refusal to stand. Another, Gerard Foley said he had taken his decision for “personal reasons” that had nothing to do with policing or dissident republicans.

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  • Mrs Doyle

    SF councillors pass on DPP posts

    By Bimpe Fatogun

    NO DISCIPLINARY action is to be taken after five Sinn Fein members failed to take up places on a Co Tyrone district policing partnership.

    Only three out of the five places reserved for the party were filled on Strabane DPP despite Sinn Fein having eight eligible councillors.

    Sinn Fein last night said it was a matter of “individual choice” and it was not considering disciplinary action against the councillors who had failed to put themselves forward.

    Ivan Barr, Claire McGill and Brian McMahon took their places on the DPP on Tuesday night.

    That was the last possible date for nominations to the body which scrutinises policing in the district.

    It means only two of the district’s three wards are represented by the party, with no Derg representatives featuring.

    Charles McHugh, one of three councillors from the ward, yesterday refused to comment on his refusal to stand.

    Another, Gerard Foley said he had taken his decision for “personal reasons” that had nothing to do with policing or dissident republicans.

    “I welcome the three members who went on it. They will do a great job,” he said.

    Sinn Fein yesterday sought to play down the matter, pointing out that just two seats were unfilled while the party expected to take up “at least 60” seats between the Policing Board and DPPs across the north.

    “That represents a significant engagement with policing,” a spokesman said.

    “There will be a cooperative strategy across all the policing structures.”

    The party’s West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said the party was “disappointed” the council group “did not reach agreement on its full complement of nominees to the district policing partnership at this time”.

    “Sinn Fein is fully committed to engaging with all of the policing structures,” he said.

    “I am confident that right across the north we will continue to provide constructive leadership in ensuring ac-countable policing that serves people in the communities we represent.”

    However, the incident has highlighted the fact that some Sinn Fein members continue to struggle with the party’s recent acceptance of the PSNI.

    On Monday, The Irish News revealed that long-standing Fermanagh and South Tyrone representative Gerry McHugh had left the party, saying Sinn Fein’s decision to endorse policing in the north was “a factor” in his decision.

  • truth,hurts

    I find this totally Discracefull that a good Cllr like Bernice Swift from Fermanagh was suspended when she only gave her view on the Dpp’s and when Cllrs in strabane refuse to sit on the Dpp there isnt going to be any sanction on them? There should be NO action taken against those who refused to take their places thats there right to say no, but its a clear case of Hypocrisy and calls in to question as to what is going on with Sinn Fein in Fermanagh when Bernice was suspended for having an opinion on the Dpp and Today Gerry McHugh claims Bullying from the party locally as one of his main reason for leaving.

  • Lorraine

    the last kicks of a dying horse…….the pattern is clearly set and sinn fein will continue with the transformation from revolution to reformism. pity.

  • nmc

    The transformation is complete IMO, I believe it was Martin McGuinness telling us to conform just last week. Just the chickens coming home to roost now, when the nationalist electorate realise they’ve been left high and dry.

  • Fooled no longer

    SF are the new Sticks,Workers party/Official IRA, reformist to the core.

  • J Kelly

    Its hard to believe the amount of time people who support other parties and groupings spend analysing every move by every sinn fein member or elected rep. The best part is the hope they pin to these incidents. News for many of you Sinn Fein will be a major force in Irish politics for years to come, not like some of the minor parties or invisible group many of you support.

  • saveus

    J Kelly, I support SF but aknowledge that some of the criticism is valid, try looking at the message instead of attacking the messenger. Trouble is afoot and it needs to be dealth with.

  • nmc

    I was a SF voter. However the introduction of water charges, the cap on rates for homes over 400k, the suggested lowering of the minimum wage and Catriona’s thatcherite performance with the classroom assistants suggest to me that the SF I voted for is long gone, replaced by what we see now, power/money hungry politicians without a scruple between them.

    Bobby Sands would be turning in his grave. This is merely my opinion.

  • Dewi

    “suggested lowering of the minimum wage” – Must have missed that somehow. When nmc?

  • nmc

    The link evades me, but it was suggested by Peter Robinson a few months back. I’ll try to hunt it down tomorrow…

  • Joey

    A great deal of ‘arrested development’ on this thread. Could it be those damned ‘Stickies’/ Officials may have been onto something forty years ago, i.e. the move leftwards, utterly mindful of the dangers of an armed campaign that could appear distinctly sectarian? Or the SDLP at Sunningdale in 1974? Both the latter of course came to that conclusion minus a war machine that claimed the lives of thousands of people. With division wedged even further? And despite political progress on behalf of the SF leadership in the last two decades – not shared by all their supporters or councillors, as the Strabane incident highlights – still the abstentionist streak persists. Pity yourelves.

  • Mick Hall

    –J Kelly–“Sinn Fein will be a major force in Irish politics for years to come”

    J Kelly

    They will first have to become a major force in Irish politics, at the moment the only influence they have is in a British parliament.

  • harry

    News for many of you Sinn Fein will be a major force in Irish politics for years to come, not like some of the minor parties or invisible group many of you support.

    Posted by J Kelly on Dec 06, 2007 @ 04:58 PM

    except in the 26 counties, where they get ass kicking.

  • get real

    So will sf finally start catching on there is something very sinister going on in fermanagh another agenda outside themselves. I hear they have already started the character assasinations there following McHugh’s resignation. Bernice Swift ought to be shouting very loudly about the inequality. not that anyone will listen the party leadership are so obsessed with using the structures to complain they don’t realise there are those in fermanagh who are too close to the investigators for justice ot be obtained. there are none so blind as those who will not see.

  • picador

    I see that juvenile troll ‘oh yeah’ has posted the IRA roll of honour. God knows what point he was trying to make but here goes…

    The dead people featured on this list died some time ago. When they joined up to the IRA they must have had an idea that death was a possiblility and ergo they accepted the consequences. Who are you to whinge on behalf of the dead?

    As for the rest of us living, breathing 2007 people who are not members of paramilitary groups: are you serioiusly suggesting that we be left at the mercy of joyriders, muggers, house-breakers, knee-breakers, drug-dealers, pimps and rapists until some united Ireland utopia miraculously comes into being? Cos if you are, you are one sad, deluded pup.

    The only way to get the policing service we merit is to participate in it.