After Adams, Murphy?

The Sunday Tribune does some futuring around Sinn Fein and the role of Gerry Adams. It argues that there are north/south tensions within the organisation highlighted by the difficulties in the last Irish elections and shift to a “broad-based” southern leadership. Donegal Sinn Féin councillor Padraig MacLochlainn acknowledges:

“Unfortunately, from a republican perspective, there are two different jurisdictions and two different economies and two different realities on the island.”

One interviewee claims that as regard the future:

The prevailing view is pointing towards Conor Murphy as Adams’s successor. He is personable and has a good record as a minister. He is competent and clean-cut. He is also from South Armagh, he was in the IRA and he has done his time which is still seen as important among northern republicans.

  • Mark McGregor

    A leading nationalist commentator who did not wish to be named said: “The prevailing view is pointing towards Conor Murphy as Adams’s successor. He is personable and has a good record as a minister. He is competent and clean-cut. He is also from South Armagh, he was in the IRA and he has done his time which is still seen as important among northern republicans.

    “If you look at Mitchll McLaughlin you can see that this is true. McLaughlin has never even chaired a committee in the Assembly even though he was chairman of Sinn Féin and the reason for that was that ‘he hadn’t served time in jail for the IRA’. In the north it counts if you are army and in the south you need to have a clean bib and no IRA record.

    I wonder if he didn’t wish to be named because he didn’t know McLaughlin is Chairperson of the Finance Committee. Or maybe he doesn’t exist? Makes the other unnamed sources and their musings in the article seem open to question on general legitmacy if one of the main ones gets the basics so wrong.

  • Grassy Noel

    Mark,

    The ST is renowned for its unnamed sources. Check out any article by Suzanne Breen…

  • Mark McGregor

    GN,

    I’m questioning a very specific claim to have direct quotes from a ‘leading nationalist commentator’ that were completely erroneous on the basics of McLaughlin’s role in the Assembly. That makes the claim of who was interviewed open to question and possibly any other unattributed quotes in this piece.

    Breen has nothing to do with it or the use of unamed sources generally but McMorrow and huge chunks of this article fall open to very heavy suspicion as a result of this piece of nonsense.

  • dublinsfsupporter

    Gerry Adams position is safe and there is no question of a leadership challenge. We are talking 5-10 years down the line.

    Longer term, in order for Sinn Féin to develop in general elections to the Dáil, I’d say Conor Murphy, while attractive to people in the six counties, is not an ideal choice and I suspect that the “unnamed” Sinn Féin activist is not fully aware of this fact.

    It’s important to note the reality that having a leader from the north is not ideal in the south wheras having a leader from the south would actually be positive in the north. (Sinn Féin canvasers from the south get a great reception on the doorstep in the 6 counties while the reverse is not so obvious on the doorstep).

    Frankly, Conor Murphy, granted he is popular in the six counties, does not have the breadth of appeal in Dáil elections the 26 counties to make the ideal leader, somebody different is needed to reach out to new voters and raise the vote share in the battle for votes against Labour and FF.

    It would be good, however, for Conor to take over from Martin McGuinness as one of the two First Ministers in Stormont and de facto leader in the north.

    There are others who would make more compelling leaders in 5-10 years time. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is a TD with a good grasp of policy detail and who can be relied on to understand policy issues. Mary Lou McDonald, who led the successful Lisbon campaign, is perhaps the most obvious choice at the moment, in terms of breadth of appeal. Pearse Doherty is another good contender that has much broader appeal in the 26 counties than Murphy. All three are more likely to be good for votes in the all-important Dáil elections and would be able to carry on Sinn Féin’s project to a broader wider coalition of support.

  • elvis Parker

    ‘Sinn Féin canvasers from the south get a great reception on the doorstep in the 6 counties’

    In Republican or nationalist areas.
    Lets remember SF are a minority party -even in the North – and particularly in the South

  • DC

    Mary Lou-Labour McDonald?

  • Red Diesel

    I agree with dublinsfsupporter that Conor Murphy lacks leadership potential, but for different reasons. As an MP he has the unique distinction of holding a constituent responsible for his own murder. By the time the Quinn family got Paul’s body back to Cullyhanna, Conor Murphy had issued half a dozen statements implying he was a criminal. Later he dropped vague slurs for direct slander. For adding to the grief of this family by lies, he should never be forgiven. These lies were a smokescreen to let the murderers get away.

    “There are wild and baseless allegations being made. However, I do not believe that there is any republican involvement in this murder.”
    Conor Murphy, Times (London) 22nd October

    “I am quite confident having spoken to people in that area that republicans were not involved in this incident. I am quite confident from some of the things that I have heard that there is a lot more to this incident than perhaps meets the eye. I am certain from the discussions that I have had that republicans were not involved. .. the young man was involved in a various degree of businesses which led him into contact with people who are engaged in a similar type of business and who can be violent in their approach to how they do business. I am reluctant to drag this young man’s name through the mud and suggest things about him.”
    Conor Murphy, RTE 22nd October

    “It is fairly obvious to me, that this is linked to fuel smuggling and criminality… Paul Quinn was involved in smuggling and criminality and I think everyone accepts that. This is a very difficult situation because there is a family grieving. I dont want to add to that grief…I have no evidence as to who killed Paul Quinn, I have to speculate as to some of the activities he was involved in ….”
    Conor Murphy, BBC Spotlight 13th November

    “I have spoken to the IRA in his area and I am satisfied with the assurances they gave me, very solid assurances, that they weren’t involved in his death. ”
    (Newsnight) “Do you have evidence of that (that Paul was killed as part of a criminal feud)?”
    “No, but what we have, we know what’s going on in this area, we know some of the people that are involved in this area. When someone is taken and very brutally beaten to death as Paul Quinn was, when people allege it was the IRA and I go and talk to the IRA and receive assurances from them as I expected to do, then you have to assume it’s other people involved in this area…”
    (Newsnight) “Isn’t it up to the police to decide whether the IRA was involved?”
    “Well not necessarily. I mean, I think the community will want a sense of who was involved and who wasn’t.
    (Newsnight) “And you’re entirely confident that republicans were not responsible in any way for what happened to Paul Quinn or any of the other beatings that have happened around here?”
    “Yes. I am entirely comfortable with that, yes.”
    Conor Murphy MP, BBC Newsnight 28th November

  • weeslabber

    Do people still read Sunday newspapers, never mind give credence to anything contained within? I gave up buying them years ago. I prefer the original Hans Christen Andersen stories!

  • Dublinsfsupporter

    I disagree with you that Gerry Adams is safe for the next five years.

    I think that the political situation in the North is just as ominous for Sinn Fein as in the south. Clearly Gerry Adams would not survive another fiasco of electoral humiliation as last year in the south.

    The North is just as risky if powersharing collapses and Sinn Fein are perceived to have contributed to that collapse.

    The SDLP haven’t gone away, you know.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “I have spoken to the IRA in his area and I am satisfied with the assurances they gave me, very solid assurances, that they weren’t involved in his death. “

    Proof please?

  • “has a good record as a minister.”

    The investigations into the Rathlin ferry affair may come to a different conclusion.

    I understand the NIAO’s chief, John Dowdall, called for a meeting with Jim Allister and that it took place today.

  • Truth

    DublinSfsupporter
    Your post only proves the type of party Sinn Fein are an undemocratic and a dictatorship self appointed leadership. Gerry Adams has been leader since 1983 and has never faced a challenge for the leadership of the party during this time? This is because he and his band of merry men (kitchen cabinet or agents) whatever you want to call them have ensured no one would be in the party long enough to challenge him.
    The party members will not decide who will replace Adams, Gerry and a few others ex prisoners and some Agents will decide, Mary Lou would be a good choice she was in fianna fail before Sinn Fein and now Sinn Fein are no better than fianna fail in fact there worse. You need to wise up Sinn Fein’s project has failed miserably they are just another party who have accepted and recognised partition, they are the administrators of British rule in Ireland. Whatever way you dress it up the Assembly and all the MLA’S are administrating British policies here in Ireland. DEVOLVED POWERS FROM WESTMINISTER. What more can I say.

  • fitzy

    “I disagree with you that Gerry Adams is safe for the next five years.

    I think that the political situation in the North is just as ominous for Sinn Fein as in the south. Clearly Gerry Adams would not survive another fiasco of electoral humiliation as last year in the south.

    The North is just as risky if powersharing collapses and Sinn Fein are perceived to have contributed to that collapse.

    The SDLP haven’t gone away, you know. ”

    Adams remained ‘safe’ after giving up the war, giving up guns, and entering Stormont… which broke just about every promise he and McGuinness made to the republican base in the 10 years leading up to the ceasefire and subsequent negotiations. Adams will step aside when he and his 5-10 advisors feel he should, not when he’s challenged by another party member.

  • Fitzy

    Breaking promises to a base that has little alternative but to leave the party is one thing but the electorate is less forgiving and has an alternative. In other words the base doesn’t matter, voters in general do.

    The base will always be with us, the public may not always be with them.

  • Nic

    “He is also from South Armagh, he was in the IRA and he has done his time which is still seen as important among northern republicans.”
    That’s as maybe, but the Adams era has shown that violent northern republicans will pretty much vote for Kermit the Frog if the Army Council orders them to. Logic dictates therefore that if Sinn Fein want more electoral success, they have to give the MOTR voters what they want, or at least start by no longer offering them what they DON’T want.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    But lots of people have speculated and written about this issue. So why wouldn’t an, ahem, “leading nationalist commentator who did not wish to be named” go on the record? Please.

    I was surprised the article wasn’t by Suzanne Breen who as someone else has said, is continually quoting unnamed sources mainly “dissidents” laughably threatening some Tet Offensive.

    Truth: “What more can I say.” Can I suggest nothing?

    UHM: You want “proof” that a politician spoke to someone? Well, he said so in a Newsnight TV interview. Hope this helps.

  • DK

    “He is also from South Armagh, he was in the IRA and he has done his time”

    So – a viable figure to unite catholic protestant and dissenter?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Truth,

    In all fairness, SF aren’t the only party with long-lived leaders. Look at Paisley. Or Hume.

  • What about the very name Sinn Fein…

    will it become outdated? Has it become outdated?

    Inclusivity as SF speak of isn’t reflected in its name.. after all branding is important these days…

    Are there examples of Party name changes mid flight in northern ireland – can’t think of any atm.. just a thought..

  • Garibaldy

    A Wile Melee,

    Sinn Féin changed its name. From Republican Clubs in the north and SF in the south, to RC/The Workers’ Party or SF/WP to just The Workers’ Party.

  • Truth

    billie joe remarkable
    It never ceases to amaze me of the quality of your responses, is the TRUTH to hard to take or too hard to debate? Fact is Sinn Fein doesn’t operate the way most normal parties work there are up on a dozen self appointed individuals some elected most are not they decide who stands for election and who does not, who gets what position in the party and who’s does not, is this not dictatorship? Gerry Adams will only ever step down when he himself decides, the whole concept of being a REPUBLICAN PARTY should mean democracy, the people decide. When a party moves into a dictatorship and work from the top down they can no longer claim to be a republican party.
    Comrade Stalin
    Yes I agree there are other long lived leaders, but being compared to IAN PAISLEY isn’t a good example, a right wing bible bashing fundamentalist.

  • relax truth….

    start your own party..

  • ulsterfan

    I really think Gerry should be worried as Ms Ruane is gaining support within the Party when you think of the way she is handling the Education debate.
    As a Unionist I would love to see her leading SF..