When Jeffrey stood up Gerry

The news that Jeffrey Donaldson has pulled out of receiving a peace award along with Gerry Kelly in the wake of the Maze escape programme (already covered by Mick) is interesting. Clearly Kelly’s comments on shooting a prison officer will be ill received in the unionist community but Mr. Kelly’s political views and previous criminal record are well known. As such one is left wondering why Mr. Donaldson wanted to receive a peace award along with Kelly in the first place and indeed how exactly the BBC programme changed his mind. Superficially one might find this surprising in view of Donaldson and Kelly’s frequent joint appearances in Northern Ireland: appearances faithfully documented on the website of OFMDFM.

Of course what has actually happened is that the BBC programme has shone a spotlight on Mr. Kelly and his receipt of a peace award and hence, made it politically embarrassing for Jeffrey to receive the award. Donaldson has always been very aware of the optics and has minimised any appearances in what one might call “chuckling encounters.” As such, better to suffer the mild embarrassment of Jim Allister’s latest attacks on him than the greater complaints he would almost certainly have faced had he and Kelly received the award.

  • Llamedos

    The cracks in De Hondt are now becoming unsustainable and all truly DEMOCRATIC parties want to now work in tandem to kick out the DUP/Sein Fein joke of a so called administration.It only requires bravery and political will. Why are the UUP,SDLP and Alliance parties not constantly reminding us of the criminal and murderously barbaric methods of Sein Fein to bomb,murder by genocidal methods,subvert,and involve themselves in all manner of criminal activities. I.E. fuel smuggling,protection rackets, VAT evasion and fraud,tax avoidance,bank robbing,cigarette and alcohol rackets, et al just to name a few. The law abiding citizens of this province are being denied of huge swathes of taxation whilst these people are sitting as ministers of the Crown.
    Likewise the Dup make democracy look a total farce in their own party organisation and are now being shown in their true light by Iris Robinson. So Sir Reg Empey, Mark Durkin, and David Ford show us what you are made of and whether you possess the cahones to defeat them at the polls and provide real opposition even if it means giving up your ministries. Otherwise the view could be that you are placemen and not politically independent MLAs.

  • I would agree with much of what Llamedos has said above, the only problem is that the DUP and the Shinners remain the two largest parties in Northern Ireland and hold over half of the seats in the Assembly. Many of us may want to see the other parties “work in tandem” to have these two sets of equally incompetent fools evicted from government but the reality is that any administration at Stormont – d’Hondt or no d’Hondt – will include them. So, in the short term we’re stuck with them.

    As for Donaldson, I don’t know what he’s at. The DUP are either committed to being in government with the Provos or they are not. There’s no point throwing a hissy fit once it’s revealed that a member of Sinn Fein may have at one time been involved in something illegal! It certainly won’t fool disillusioned unionists. Does Jeffrey honestly think he’s going to win that element round by sharing power with republicans while throwing the odd stunt now and again to show he still harbours a dislike for them? He’s an idiot if he does. I imagine Jim Allister is having a right old snigger to himself.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Jimbo almost has it spot on – the question is didnt the DUP know of Gerry’s antics – as presumably it was a party decision to pull Donald DUP out of the ceremony.

  • The killer detail in the programme was not that Kelly had shot a prison officer, it was that the IRA had successfully ingratiated themselves with the officers as part of the preparations for the escape. This is priceless ammunition to those who argue that republicans are insincere about the peace process and have a secret agenda. It provides them with a precedent.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    You’re not the first to have had that thought. Maybe not the best message for Kelly to be putting out, and they did make an awful big deal of it on the programme; even if the editor is blamed, the escapees were happy to talk plenty about lulling the screws into a false sense of security.

    By coincidence, I think Kelly and Donaldson were photographed not long before the broadcast, in New York, in front of a big sign for something called ‘The Door’.

    I guess someone had left it open.