Sinn Fein plans reshuffle

It has been reported (see RTE also) that Sinn Fein is planning a major reshuffle of its party leadership, with greater prominence being given to southern representatives, in particular MEP Mary Lou McDonald.

Gerry Adams will remain as Party President, but current Vice-President Pat Doherty will step down, with Mary Lou McDonald set to replace him.

Following Sinn Feins embarrassing electoral problems in the Republic, in 2007, the party appears to be trying to re market itself south of the border, in order to make it more appealing to voters. This is most likely in effort to make the party look less ‘northern’. A potential threat comes from Fianna Fail, if they decide to organise in British six-counties of Ulster.

  • … in British six-counties of Ulster.

    What a ridiculously long-winded way to say ‘Northern Ireland’!

    … electoral problems in the Republic last year

    Um, Andrew, it’s 2009 now, so that should be ‘the year before last’.

    Sheesh, you just can’t get good bloggers these day …

  • Jimmy Sands

    Still struggling with this whole democracy business I see. In most parties you announce the result after the vote. Mind you I imagine they save a lot of paper at the Ard Fheis this way.

  • Sauce for the Goose

    “Northern Ireland” – what a silly little euphemism for the British occupied six counties of Ulster.

  • 6cp

    Horseman,
    Give Andy a break. He doesn’t understand efficiency or economy of phonemes.

    Sinn Fein’s embarrassing electoral problems in the south will not go away as long as their president has no clue about what is going on there.

  • Gregory

    I think they need to make the party look less ‘British’, to be perfectly honest,

    Gregory

  • Jimmy Sands

    In that case getting rid of the Scottish guy should help.

  • finches

    “if they decide to organise in British six-counties of Ulster”

    Last time I checked the six-counties were on the island of Ireland. Did you just have an extraordinarily bad geography teacher or has there been some sort of land mass drift that escaped my notice?

  • 6cp,

    Give Andy a break …

    Maybe it’s because he’s more comfortable in “Ulstèr-Scotch”?

    http://quis.qub.ac.uk/ulstscot/2008/05/new-chairman-takes-reins.html

    He’s not a very good blogger there either!

  • slug

    Does it make much difference who is Vice President and who is Party Chair etc? Is the former a significantly more influential position?

    The shuffling of Pat Doherty (IRA person) out of the picture is not surprising given his age and it will be interesting to see if they opt to replace him in West Tyrone come 2010. Barry McElduff is an obvious replacement (who was not in the IRA?).

  • finches

    LOL! Thanks a million for that link Horseman. I had a cursory look at it. Much needed entertainment.

    “Tha Queen’s Society o Ulstèr-Scotch”…ROFL!!!!!What a joke!

    Did you notice their pretentious submission to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure? It calls for the ‘de-politicization’ of the Irish language. This is coming from people who sport a symbol of the Crown on their blog layout!

    According to them the Irish language ‘must always within the Northern Ireland context (…) be associated with the Ulster-Scots language” Presumably French and other languages must also be ‘associated’ (whatever they mean by that) with the Ulster-Scots ‘language’.

    They also claim, apparently with sincerity, that “Ulster-Scots has as strong a claim, if not stronger, to be the cultural language of Northern Ireland” but that “the idea of equal treatment, between it and Irish however, is generally accepted, if not introduced in practice, by the government were (sic) spending appears to massively favour Irish.”

    Were? I remember learning the difference between ‘where’ and ‘were’ when I was six years old. Instead of trying to master the Ulster-Scots ‘language’, perhaps the people who wrote this ‘submission’ should direct their focus on learning the English language and should acquaint themselves with basic English grammer.

  • slug

    MODERATOR: Look at Horseman and finches stuff on Ulster Scots. What has any of that have to do with this thread?

  • cut the bull

    Worsels Alane ar for tae change. Mary Lou Mc Donald tis gaennae sit aside frae the big bairdy yin a Worsels Alane rascals daenae know whut tae be at.
    I daesnae know whut for tae happen tae Pat Doherty.

  • William

    Isn’t it just amazing that Republicans of the Sinn Fein / IRA variety who coined the phrases ‘parity of esteem’ and ‘equality of opportunity’ and forever prattle on about ‘culture’, don’t actually believe in anyone else having what they demand, as can be evidenced by the balderdash posted off topic by ‘Horseman’ and ‘Finches’.

  • cut the bull

    aye wully for tis bra tae tak, tak’s chaip Worsels Alans say tis bra tae tak a thae yin way

  • Esoterica NI

    slug

    “The shuffling of Pat Doherty (IRA person) out of the picture is not surprising given his age and it will be interesting to see if they opt to replace him in West Tyrone come 2010.”

    Have you some inside information that the next Westminster election will be in 2010??

    I agree Barry McElduff is a likely candidate for Westminster candidature. He polled more first preference votes than Doherty in the 2007 Assembly election. His seeming desire to act as the Sinn Féin joker at times does however compromise some of our ability to take him seriously as a politician. Still SF don’t take Westminster seriously so there we have it!!

  • Mick Fealty

    What Slug just said. Unless I’m reading it incorrectly, the post above had nothing to do with Ulster Scots.

    So make your points boldly and without apology but spare us the none so subtle attempt to filibuster…

  • cut the bull

    Is it alright to make points in Ulster Scots.

  • augustiner

    Nice one finches…’should acquaint themselves with basic English grammer’
    A bit of spelling practice wouldn’t do you any harm either.

  • joeCanuck

    Of course it is ok, cut the bull. Just don’t expect to have an intelligent discourse.

  • cut the bull

    Im just getting in practice for the shared future that the parades commission keeping talking about.
    Im also doing my best to play my part in bringing about parity of esteem but Im afraid responses are few and far between. Is there a shortage Ulster Scots speakers

  • Plastic Paddy

    2 thoughts:

    The next generation of Sinn Féin leaders will be women, Mary Lou McDonald, Caitríona Ruane, Michelle Gildernew and Bairbre de Brún are the obvious ones (alright, maybe de Brún doesn’t quite qualify as a member of “the next generation”.) Look for Toireasa Ferris (a 28 year old (!) Cllr in Kerry, and graduate of QUB) to be “the next Mary Lou McDonald” in a few years time.

    The time for “republican” parties to operate only on one side of the border is over. This applies most obviously to SF, but also to Fianna Fáil. I’m convinced that Bertie Ahern was sincere about turning FF into a 32 county party, but that the current financial crisis has forced Brian Cowen to back off from that idea. The SDLP are moribund, unless they can ally with a southern party. (Closely mirroring the Tory-UUP alliance would not be a bad idea.)

  • Jimmy Sands

    Out PSF has always operated in the south. We’re just not interested and you people will not take the hint.

  • Thats a curious statement, Jimmy Sands. Which part of the ‘south’ do you think isn’t interested? The list below gives the local authorities in the 26 counties with SF members:

    Cavan
    Cavan County Council
    Pauline Tully
    Charlie Boylan
    Paddy McDonald
    Cavan Town Council
    Brian McKeown
    Belturbet Town Council
    Benny Henry
    Cootehill Town Council
    Harry McCabe
    John Martin

    Cork
    Cork City Council
    Jonathan O Brien
    Annette Spillane
    Fiona Kerins
    Cork County Council
    Martin Hallinan
    Bantry Town Council
    Tim O Leary
    Bandon Town Council
    John Desmond
    Clonakilty Town Council
    Cionnaith O Suilleabhain
    Paul Hayes
    Cobh Town Council
    Kieran McCarthy
    Fermoy Town Council
    Seamus Coleman
    Mallow Town Council
    Willie O Regan
    Middleton Town Council
    Gina Hennessy
    Passage West Town Council
    Roisin O Sullivan
    Skibereen Town Council
    Donncha Ó Sé
    Youghal Town Council
    Martin Hallinan
    Sandra McLellan

    Donegal
    Buncrana Town Council
    Padraig McLochlainn
    Darren Lawlor
    Bundoran Town Council
    Micky McMahon
    Ballyshannon Town Council
    Patrick Bramley
    Letterkenny Town Council
    Gerry McMonagle
    Donegal Co Council
    Pearse Doherty
    Padraig MacLochlainn
    Tony McDaid
    Dublin
    South Dublin County Council
    Cathal King
    Mark Daly
    Shane O Connor
    Dublin City Council
    Christy Burke
    Ray Corcoran
    Daithí Doolan
    Dessie Ellis
    Killian Forde
    Seamus McGrattan

    Críona Ni Dhalaigh
    Larry O’Toole
    Ray McHugh
    Louise Minihan
    Fingal County Council
    Paul Donnelly

    Galway

    Galway County Council
    Dermot Connolly
    Ballinasloe Town Council
    Jason Devlin

    Kerry
    Kerry County Council
    Toireasa Ferris
    Robert Beasley
    Listowel Town Council
    Anthony Curtin
    Tralee Town Council
    Cathal Foley
    Maisie Houlihan

    Kildare
    Athy Town Council
    Paddy Wright

    Laois
    Laois County Council
    Brian Stanley
    Portlaoise Town Council
    Brian Stanley

    Leitrim
    Leitrim County Council
    Martin Kenny
    Michael Colreavey

    Longford
    Longford Town Council

    Louth
    Louth County Council

    Tomas Sharkey
    Kevin Meenan
    Pearse McGeough
    Imelda Munster
    Jim Loughran
    Drogheda Borough Council
    Matthew Coogan
    Dom Wilton
    Dundalk Town Council
    Ian Dooley
    Kevin Meenan
    Geraldine Cassidy
    Ardee Town Council
    Seamus Gaffney

    Mayo
    Mayo County Council
    Gerry Murray
    Ballina Town Council
    Peter Clarke
    Castlebar Town council
    Noel Campbell
    Westport Town Council
    Daithi Ceitinn

    Meath
    Meath County Council
    Joe Reilly
    Michael Gallagher

    Navan Town Council
    Joe Reilly
    Peadar Tobin
    Trim Town Council
    Caroline Ni Laoinsigh
    Kells Town Council
    Conor Ferguson

    Monaghan
    Monaghan County Council
    Sean Conlon
    Jackie Crowe
    Brian McKenna
    Brenda McAnespie
    Noel Keelan
    Pat Treanor
    Matt Carthy
    Carrickmacross Town Council
    Matt Carthy
    Eamon Conlon
    Noel Keelan
    Castleblayney Town Council
    Jackie Crowe
    James Cunningham
    Mariea Kelly
    Clones Town Council
    Pat Treanor
    Marcella Leonard
    Niall Quigley
    Monaghan Town Council
    Padraigin Uí Mhurchadha
    Donal Sherry
    Malachy Toal
    Sean Conlon
    Ballybay Town Council
    Eugene Duffy
    Barry Cunningham

    Roscommon
    Roscommon County Council
    Michael Mulligan

    Sligo
    Sligo County Council
    Sean MacManus
    Sligo Borough Council
    Sean MacManus
    Chris MacManus
    Arthur Gibbons

    Tipperary
    Carrick-on-Suir Town Council
    Liam Walsh
    Cashel Town Council
    Michael Browne
    Nenagh Town Council
    Seamus Morris
    Thurles Town Council
    Dave Doran

    Waterford
    Waterford City Council
    David Cullinane
    Joe Kelly
    Waterford County Council
    Brendan Mansfield
    Dungarvan Town Council
    Brendan Mansfield

    Westmeath
    Athlone Town Council
    Paul Hogan

    Wexford
    Wexford County County
    John Dwyer
    Maurice Roche
    Wexford Borough Council
    Anthony Kelly
    Enniscorthy Town Council
    Noreen Sheridan
    New Ross Town Council
    John Dwyer

    Wicklow
    Wicklow Town Council
    Eamonn Long

    Bray Town Council
    John Brady

    It seems there is at least some intest, on’t you think?

  • slug

    “The next generation of Sinn Féin leaders will be women, Mary Lou McDonald, Caitríona Ruane, Michelle Gildernew”

    Mary Lou is doing well as an MEP and “had a good Lisbon” Michelle is a good Minister but Caitriona frankly really isn’t doing well so you should not list her alongside the other two. On a good day for SF, Mary Lou would join Pearse Doherty and Padraig McLoglain as TDs in the Dail and depending on their performance there would be contenders for next President along with Conor Murphy. Conor has been a good Minister. He does have the baggage of being an IRA man, but this might be an advantage with those members within the party voting for leadership change. I can’t see anyone else from the North being obvious contenders.

    All of this is several years into the next Dail, say 2014, by which stage Adams will be 66, at the earliest.

  • cut the bull

    Who would protestants living in the 26 counties tend to vote for, especially those living in the border counties? Does any one have an idea.
    I ask this because not long ago I was speaking to a Protestant fella from County Cavan, he said he was as happy as any body else in the south but that he remembered his grandfather speaking of feeling betrayed by Carson when partiton came about.

  • munster republic

    aye wully for tis bra tae tak, tak’s chaip Worsels Alans say tis bra tae tak a thae yin way
    Cut the bull

    I understood your ulster-scots accent but to me it just sounds like a farmer from ballymoney talking. Please continue quoting in Ulster-Planter, its great craic. A guy told me once that restaurant is referred to as Eatin Hoouse?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Every country has nutjob fringe parties. I’m talking about the mainstream. You have some councillors, a (shrinking) handful of TDs and an MEP out on her arse come June. That’s as good as it’s ever going to get for you.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Who would protestants living in the 26 counties tend to vote for,”

    Same as the rest of us I imagine. Why would they be any different?

  • slug

    Jimmy

    “You have some councillors, a (shrinking) handful of TDs and an MEP out on her arse come June. That’s as good as it’s ever going to get for you. ”

    I am no SF fan (LOL) and I agree they will lose Mary Lou in Dublin, but don’t you think SF could gain an MEP for the North West euroconstituency? And could gain a TD, or two, in Donegal?

    (I wonder what the future holds for Mary Lou if she loses Dublin and does not gain Dublin Central, both of which are likely.)

  • slug

    “Who would protestants living in the 26 counties tend to vote for,”

    I read somewhere that they are much less likely to vote for SF, and to a smaller extent less likely to vote FF. In places like Donegal I think its known they tend to vote FG.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Slug,

    Possible. Tbh I was surprised they came up empty in Donegal last time, but my overall point is there’s no breakthrough coming.

  • slug

    Jimmy,

    The recent opinion polls, showing dramatic falls of support for FF, have been interesting. SF picked up none. It all went to the other parties.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “I wonder what the future holds for Mary Lou if she loses Dublin and does not gain Dublin Central, both of which are likely.”

    Back to FF I’d imagine.

  • kensei

    slug

    Does it make much difference who is Vice President and who is Party Chair etc? Is the former a significantly more influential position?

    I think it’ll shift the overall profile of the party southwards a bit. It’ll not have a hugely dramatic effect especially in the North where you’ll see still see familiar faces doing the media rounds. But obviously they are trying to have more Southern representatives speaking on the South.

    You might say that is partitionist. And it will be if done badly. But the type of politics I believe in is getting good local people for an area, and a good cross section in the leadership so I would cautiously welcome this. If done right its a step towards addressing their problems.

    Jimmy

    Never is a very long time. I think 2007 shot the big break through stone dead. But SF’s support has held pretty steady, if stagnated. They still have potential for growth from hard work and the gradual distancing in time from the Troubles and eventually the current leadership. I’d be reasonably confident that they’ll see a better period in my life time though I’d not like to guess how much better or how much use it would be in achieving the things they want.

    Who would have thought in the early 70s they’d be where they are now?

  • protestants in the south

    Protestants in the south would tend to vote for Fine Gael or the Progressive Democrats.

    Fine Gael have the only protestant member of the Dail in Seymour Crawford in Cavan. He attracts the protestant vote in Cavan clearly.

    I have also heard anecdotal evidence that protestants in the south tend not to vote but no solid evidence for that.

  • The original Sam Maguire

    To be fair PP, Og Ferris has a high enough profile in the State already and should put up a reasonable showing in the South constituency next year – by reasonable I’d estimate about 10% of the vote, up from 6.75% in 04.

    However, I genuinely doubt Ruane can salvage anything from her current inept performance and has no right being mention along side McDonald and Gilnernew who have performed admirably well over the past couple of years.

    Wee Barry probably will take over from Pat Doherty in ’10 or ’11 – he’s very capable and indeed highly respected in West Tyrone, even despite his occasional attempts to parody Willie McCrea, and his getting sucked into stupid arguments.

    As for the leadership, it depends on when Gerry decides he’s going to step down. If it’s within 5 years, I’d anticipate McGuinness taking over as an interim leader – lessons should have been learnt from the Hume and Mallon saga within the SDLP, with the progress that has been made since 98, SF can ill afford an unknown quantity taking the leadership and getting lost in a vacuum, even in the short term. Longer term, circumstances North and South rather than personality, will dictate who is anointed.

  • slug

    Kensei

    “I think it’ll shift the overall profile of the party southwards a bit.”

    Do you know who the new party chair is (vice McDonald)? Is he/she is from the south then you would certainly be right.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Fine Gael have the only protestant member of the Dail in Seymour Crawford”

    I can think of at least two others off the top of my head

  • finches

    There is also the Donegal Progressive Party for east Donegal Protestants, most of whom belong to the Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

    Outside the three Ulster counties, the vast majority of Protestants are Anglo-Irish and belong to the Church of Ireland. The overwhelming majority of them vote for Fine Gael. In Northern Ireland the social impact of Protestant denominational divisions has broken down to a certain extent. Whereas in the north Protestants of all confessions pride themselves in their Scottish heritage, Protestants (read Anglicans) in the south tend to have greater links to England, and indeed many have never shaken off that faintly ‘English’ aura to this day.

  • finches

    ‘This is my body’ is ‘Hoc est corpus meum‘ in Latin; in Irish it’s ‘Is é seo mo chorp’; in Ulster-Scots it’s ‘Hits mae bodie’.

  • feismother

    Regarding Protestant voting preferences in the Republic my granny used to tell a funny story which must have happened some time in the 1930s I suppose.

    She had a cousin (Derry Catholic) who married a Donegal man (Birdstown if you know it). She knew little or nothing about politics but her husband instructed her to vote Fine Gael. As she was walking down the road she met their Protestant neighbours and in the course of conversation she found out that they too were voting Fine Gael. So, unaccustomed as she was to vote for the same party as the Protestants, she voted Fianna Fáil!

  • Fine Gael have the only protestant member of the Dail in Seymour Crawford in Cavan. He attracts the protestant vote in Cavan clearly.

    When did Trevor Sargent resign his seat or join the Catholic Church?

    Who would protestants living in the 26 counties tend to vote for, especially those living in the border counties? Does any one have an idea.

    The can and do vote for the same range of parties as everyone else, but they are vastly more likely to vote for Fine Gael. Like much else with both Southern Protestants and Irish voting patterns, however, times are changing.

    Fianna Fáil now seriously court the Protestant vote in Donegal. One can hardly open the Church of Ireland Gazette these days without seeing Senator Celia Keaveney at the opening of a Protestant school extension or church hall.

    Also, anecdotal evidence from friends in Dublin is that there is more openness to voting Fianna Fáil than ever in the past, or at least there was before the economy went down the tubes. Mary Hanafin gets a lot of Prod votes in Dún Laoghaire, and there is no way that FF would have polled the magisterial vote they managed in Dublin South in the last General Election without polling at least a large minority of Protestant votes in what is probably the most Protestant constituency in the state. Labour and assorted broad left candidates also seem to do well among trendy-lefty Dublin Prods who are fairly thick on the ground in parts of the Southside.

    There is also the Donegal Progressive Party for east Donegal Protestants, most of whom belong to the Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

    The DPP is more or less defunct now. Overall, Donegal Prods split about 50:50 between Presbyterianism and Anglicanism, with Presbyterians much more numerous in East Donegal and Inishowen, numbers about even in the North , and Anglicans much more common in South Donegal. The line dividing English from Scottish settlement in Ulster runs more or less dead West from Belfast City Hall and keeps going until it hits the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Dave

    “Who would have thought in the early 70s they’d be where they are now?”

    You could say the same about Lehman Brothers.

    Your appeal to precedent assumes analogous models, yet:

    (a) there is no campaign of sectarian violence in the Republic for the Shinners to act as apologists
    (b) there is no political dynamic or appeasement process in the Republic to resolve the non-existent campaign by the expedient of integrating its apologists into the political system so that they might pursue their sectarian agenda by political rather than violent means
    (c) there is no puppet parliament in the Republic created for the sole purpose of allowing said apologists to play pretend politics
    (d) there is no nanny-state culture in the in the Republic that ensures that the ‘impartial’ function of parliament is to carve-up a subvention from another parliament
    (e) there is no earthly use in the Republic for a bunch of violent thugs who can’t decide if they should copy-and-paste their economic policies from some obscure socialist manifesto or formulate a populist set according to ad hoc marketing polls conducted among the attending housewifes at Tuperware parties on Dublin’s southside

    The Shiners bet get used to having their faces rolled into the political asphalt more times than the tyres on a Greyhound bus.

  • cynic

    This just points up

    1 the lack of depth they have for future senior positions

    2 the total cabal that runs the party. One man one vote has been perverted to mean you are only allowed to vote for one man (or woman).

    Why, they might almost be Unionists. Whoops…I forgot.In effect they are.

    As George Orwell wrote ” all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than the others”

  • Plastic Paddy

    Who would protestants living in the 26 counties tend to vote for, especially those living in the border counties? Does any one have an idea.

    Years ago, at least in Monaghan, they would have voted for the Irish Labour Party.

  • William

    And then we that eejit of an Anglo-Irish Protestant, Martin Manseragh, who is a member of ‘the soldiers of destiny’ Fianna Fail and a Government Minister to boot, I believe !!!

  • William

    And then we have that eejit of an Anglo-Irish Protestant, Martin Manseragh, who is a member of ‘the soldiers of destiny’ Fianna Fail and a Government Minister to boot, I believe !!!

  • slug

    Martin Manseragh-not impressive on TV when discussing the financial crisis I am afraid.

  • Gregory

    “It seems there is at least some intest, on’t you think?”

    The percentage of the total? I could post a long list of decent butchers, it wouldn’t reflect what was generally bought.

    Don’t you think, that the 26C may have problems of a kind that shift the focus onto more experiences parties?

    SF they’re not exactly economists, and one or two of them are quite capable of making a pig’s ear out of a silk purse.

    Gregory

  • William

    Someone said that the whingeing leprechaun, Barry McElduff was never in the ‘RA…..may I ask when he left it?

  • This is a wise decision on their part. A key reason for their failure to make the expected breakthrough was that leadership debate where, when challenged by McDowell on economic policy, Gerry rambled on about the Peace Process. Gerry, you talk about that in a Northern election, but in a Southern election we want to know what you will do to improve (or otherwise) our lives. If you can’t find a northerner that knows his stuff in the lower-26 then put Mary-Lou on instead.

  • Dublin voter

    “Outside the three Ulster counties, the vast majority of Protestants are Anglo-Irish and belong to the Church of Ireland. The overwhelming majority of them vote for Fine Gael. In Northern Ireland the social impact of Protestant denominational divisions has broken down to a certain extent. Whereas in the north Protestants of all confessions pride themselves in their Scottish heritage, Protestants (read Anglicans) in the south tend to have greater links to England, and indeed many have never shaken off that faintly ‘English’ aura to this day.”

    Oh dear Finches. More utter drivel. I grew up and live in Dublin. My Protestant neighbours and friends are as Irish as me. (Like me, they follow English football, watch English TV, support Ireland in international sports, vote for all parties and independents for a variety of selfish and generous reasons, are generally proud of our country (warts and all),know a few words of Irish having spent 10 years learning it at school, and so on.) Anglo-Irish my foot. The protestant farming neighbours of my wife’s family in West Cork are about as Anglo as a starter of boiled tripe and drisheen, a main course of bacon and cabbage and a desert of apple tart and custard.

    Finches, some of your take on Protestants in the South might have been slightly accurate about 70 years ago. Most of it is just off the wall. It’s colour by numbers sectarian drivel.

  • kensei

    slug

    Do you know who the new party chair is (vice McDonald)? Is he/she is from the south then you would certainly be right.

    I read the same articles as you, bud.

    Dave

    When you’re done patronising me, perhaps you can reflect that the point wasn’t necessarily about SF per se simply that unexpected changes can occur.

    Forever remains a long time to make predictions over.

  • Brian Boru

    “Who would protestants living in the 26 counties tend to vote for, especially those living in the border counties? Does any one have an idea.”

    ctb, most of the Protestants live in the border-counties or in Dublin but the stereotype would be that since 1922 they have tended towards Fine Gael and sometimes Labour, in large party a legacy of the Civil War where former Unionists supported the pro-Treaty govt for several reasons including continued links with Britain (e.g. Commonwealth, no republic etc.) and because some were targeted by the anti-Treaty IRA who saw them as pro-Treaty. Having said that, the only Southern Protestant I ever met (from Naas) told me his parents were Labour-people. Nonetheless over on politics.ie a member called Casualbets has been putting up maps of constituencies cross-referencing the Fine Gael vote with the Protestant vote, and found that the stereotype seems well-founded. The Protestant vote in Donegal and Cavan-Monaghan does go disproportionately to Fine Gael. In particular see the following link cross-referencing areas of Protestant-concentration with the FG vote: Protestant vote in Cavan-Monaghan.

  • west tyrone

    “The shuffling of Pat Doherty (IRA person) out of the picture is not surprising given his age and it will be interesting to see if they opt to replace him in West Tyrone come 2010. Barry McElduff is an obvious replacement (who was not in the IRA?).”

    I’d disagree that McElduff is the ‘natural’ replacement for Doherty. From what I know wee Barry is treated as something of a joke within SF. He’s fine to wind up the prods and go on Nolan but you wouldn’t give him much actual responsibility.

    He may well have polled more than Doherty at the Assembly elections but that was a combination of the way the constituency was divided for SF vote management (Doherty had no area with guaranteed 1st preferences) and the fact that Doherty has been worse than invisible in his time as an MP. I don’t actually think Doherty will step down as MP at the next Westminster election – its not as if he’s too bothered with the workload or anything. He can stay at home in Donegal and no-one will notice the difference.

    If and when SF do come to having to replace Doherty though they’ll have to do a lot of searching in West Tyrone if they are going to run a local. There isn’t exactly much in the way of talent amongst Omagh and Strabane SFs. I wouldn’t rule out another outside candidate being drafted in to prevent an embarassing candidate being ran.

  • the original sam maguire

    That’s just wrong. Off the top of my head, Doherty had guaranteed 1st preferences in The Mourne (apart from the head of the town) and the Derg (bar NTS) wards, McElduff had Omagh Town, West Tyrone and parts of Mid Tyrone, while McGill had Head of the Town, Glenelly, NTS, and half of Mid Tyrone – and looking at the results that pans out in terms of vote management.

    As regards to SF internally, McElduff is on the Ard comhairle, so I’d say they’ve a fair degree of time of him within the party.

    And at the end of the day, the SDLP is so, so inept in West Tyrone that the proverbial donkey wearing a tricolour could be stood and SF would romp home.

  • cut the bull

    And then we that eejit of an Anglo-Irish Protestant, Martin Manseragh, who is a member of ‘the soldiers of destiny’ Fianna Fail and a Government Minister to boot, I believe !!!

    Posted by William on Jan 09, 2009 @ 01:04 AM

    Wully I ken ye a tak’n in wor hamely tongue.Tis gud tae gab an tak an t”ll dae ye nae hairm

  • PaddyReilly

    The protestant farming neighbours of my wife’s family in West Cork are about as Anglo as a starter of boiled tripe and drisheen, a main course of bacon and cabbage and a desert of apple tart and custard.

    Here I should point out that apple tart and custard is about as English as you can get where puddings are concerned. Subtract the custard and you have “as American as apple pie”.

    As for the vexed question of how Protestants vote, I beg to mention the cases of Erskine Childers, a Fianna Fáil tánaiste and a President, and the redoubtable Ó Snodaigh family of Sinn Féin. Protestants voting for Fine Gael is probably the correct stereotype, as opposed to psephological reality, but maybe this is only the view from Ballyjamesduff.

  • cut the bull

    thanks for that link Brian B

  • Suilven

    Sammy,

    “The line dividing English from Scottish settlement in Ulster runs more or less dead West from Belfast City Hall and keeps going until it hits the Atlantic Ocean.”

    Sorry, have to say that’s rubbish and especially not true in Co. Down. Where do you think the Down Presyterians of the United Irishmen came from?

  • cut the bull

    I know a few protestants in the north who are republicans and some who are involved in SF and eirigi. These people are very articulate and confident in their respective political views.
    By the way Inever got to ask the Cavan man who he voted as I thought it would be a bit intrusive to ask him.

  • PaddyReilly

    Where do you think the Down Presyterians of the United Irishmen came from?

    In the main I believe they came from the Ards peninsula, which does not fall south of a line drawn West from Belfast City Hall. I think that’s what he means.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I certainly don’t know of Protestants in the south voting labour, unless there was some local reason. Maybe it’s a Dublin thing, though Irish Labour was always more about Connolly than Marx.Also Protestants were more generally from rural backgrounds, and found a home in organisations like the Farmers’ party in the 1930s

    Those from Ulster constituencies generally voted FG or some for the DPP in Donegal , though Sammy is right that it is presently moribund, thanks in no small measure to the -ahem- “curious” redrawing of boundaries in the early 1960s which split the county diagonally and removed the possibility of a TD.In Monaghan there was a body called the PA (Portestant Association) which returned councillors up until about 20 years ago. In rural Cork they still tend to vote FG- e.g. for Andrew Crawford in Bandon
    FF are certainly courting Protestant votes in NE Donegal, partly because there were some Protestants who voted for Neal Blaney to slap it up the mainstream FF

    “I know a few protestants in the north who are republicans and some who are involved in SF and eirigi. These people are very articulate and confident in their respective political views.”
    I don’t doubt that there are a few tokenistas and eccentric self haters in SF, but anyone who’s in eirigi – of whatever religion or none – is ipso facto excluded from the description “articulate and confident”. A more pathetic bunch of insecure whining knuckle dragging flat earthers it’s impossible to imagine…

  • cut the bull

    I think your description of protestant members of SF and eirigi is a sad relfection on yourself.

  • darth rumsfeld

    ouch
    moral condescension from a shinner
    I’m soooooo chastised
    In a token of repentance I’m off to paint my pillar box green. That’ll teach me….

  • It’s totally off-topic, so I have so far resisted commenting, but my itching fingers have got the better of me …

    I have many southern Protestant relatives, so I feel that I have some knowledge of the likely voting patterns. Firstly, though, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a typical southern Protestant – there are small farmers, big farmers, small-town businesspeople (shops, garages, etc), Dublin professionals, Gardai, teachers, students, factory workers … the lot. So while the ‘stereotype’ of the large Prod farmer will vote for FG, so will the large Catholic farmer! I know southern Prods who vote for almost all parties – and the public party memberships of Crawford, Mansergh, Sargent, Fox, etc should make that obvious.

    The loud voices of the south Dublin professionals (who tend to be fairly pro-FG), especially in the letters page of the Irish Times, may give the impression that all Prods are FG supporters, but I suspect that the car mechanic in Monaghan, or the nurse in Cork, or the factory worker in Fermoy, who tend not to write letters to the papers, may not always vote FG.

    In most cases, though, southern Prods would tend to vote on local issues, or on who represents their (non-sectarian) issues best. Hence independent hospital candidates, or independent rural development people will also get their votes.

    There may be some difference in that closer to the border, where Presbyterianism is more prevalent, but my relatives are all C of I, and thus more tolerant and broad-minded 🙂

  • cut the bull

    your crystal ball must be broke because I am not a member of any political party,therefore Iwould say the description of me as ahinner is to say the least incorrect
    Another sad reflection

  • In the main I believe they came from the Ards peninsula, which does not fall south of a line drawn West from Belfast City Hall. I think that’s what he means.

    Paddy, you’re making my points for me before I can myself.

    Which of us should be more worried? 😉

    If we’re going to pedantic, draw the line west from Belfast City Hall until you hit the Atlantic, and south from Belfast City Hall until you hit the Irish Sea, and you have a good fit, not perfect but good, for areas of mainly English settlement south west of those lines and Scottish settlement north and east of it. There are, of course, many Church of Ireland members in Antrim and many Presbyterians in Co. Armagh or South Tyrone (although virtually none in Fermanagh). But on balance the line is more or less right and also marks in most parts of Ulster the boundary between Scots and English influenced dialects of the English language. Greater Belfast is obviously the major exception.

    thanks in no small measure to the -ahem- “curious” redrawing of boundaries in the early 1960s which split the county diagonally and removed the possibility of a TD.In Monaghan there was a body called the PA (Portestant Association) which returned councillors up until about 20 years ago.

    The DPP returned a councillor to Donegal County Council until the late 1990s when boundary changes screwed over Devenney, but the DPP vote in East Donegal had been in decline anyway and in my view it just hastened the inevitable.

    The County Monaghan Protestant Association was, I think – and I am open to correction here – more or less moribund by the early 1970s, but won a council seat in 1991 on Walter Pringle’s strong personal vote before he lost fairly narrowly in 1999.

    O Snodaigh and Childers are very much exceptions to the rule among southern Protestants, despite recent changes.

    Still, as well as FG, I know quite a few Southern Prods who vote Labour, Green, whatever loony Trot independent is on the ballot paper, etc., but in my experience it is more of a Dublin thing. I also suspect the Southern Prods Darth mixes with may be from a different social set than the ones I do!

  • slug

    Will be interesting to see if eirigi stand in the EURO elections and what vote they get if they do.

  • cut the bull

    I think it will be more interesting to see how eirigi and the TUV do in the next council elections if both parties field candidates. As both parties have the capacity to (capatilise)on any weakness shown or mistakes made by SF and the DUP

  • eranu

    “a main course of bacon and cabbage”

    southerners are difficult to understand at the best of times, but to put cabbage in any course and like it, is totally sick! i think ‘coddle’ is the name of a traditional dublin dish with it. ‘boak’ more like… (southerners dont know what boak means!)

  • ulsterfan

    Too much talk of how Protestants vote in the Free State.
    I didn’t think they had the right to vote.
    Dev must be spinning in his grave.
    Withdraw the vote immediately and lets have a Catholic State/Constitution for a Catholic people.
    No place for these non Irish folk.

  • Amach Isteach

    Whether it is ultimately successful or not from their perspective, with SF one should always look for the not so obvious in what they do – especially when it comes to personnel shifts. They tend to try and think a number of moves ahead.

    All of the talk is about a shift towards Southerners. However, Kearney as Chair is the significant move. It appears from what I am hearing that MacDonald was not able to do the work of party Chair – which it a crucial position in terms of party organisation. Love him or hate him (and most opt for the latter), Kearney is far more capable as an organiser.

    Are SF positioning MacDonald to be a permanent (and safe, articulate etc.) feature in the leadership after she inevitably loses her European seat (and loses if they decide to run her in Dublin Central – which is most likely)

  • justahunch

    West Tyrone:

    You are spot on re: Barry Duff.

    I would go even further and suggest that wee barry and SF could be in for a rude awakening- even in their Carrickmore strong-hold.

  • justahunch

    The elevation of Mary Lou is a mystery. And it will be an enormous mistake for SF.

  • the original sam maguire

    justahunch

    A rude awakening how?

    There is no credible opposition anywhere in West Tyrone. On a local level, there are about 8 decent politicians that between Omagh and Strabane District Councils that A. Will actually get something done for you and B. Have an idea what they’re talking about. For the record, 4 are SF, 1 SDLP 1 UUP, 1 DUP and to be fair, Johnny McLaughlin isn’t bad either

  • NP

    “In the main I believe they came from the Ards peninsula”

    What about the battles of Saintfield & Ballynahinch ?

  • PaddyReilly

    As far as they managed to advance, I believe. The area controlled by the United Men corresponded very closely to today’s constituencies of E Antrim, North Down and Strangford. However, the words “in the main” are meant to convey the possibility that a minority was found elsewhere. I believe Sammy’s addendum was that the line he drew turned due south at Belfast City Hall till it reached the sea.

    There is a map of the existing NS Preb parishes at

    http://www.nspresbyterian.org/PAGES/churches.htm

    This shows some penetration as far as Warrenpoint, but none in Armagh or Fermanagh.
    The NS Prebs could ally themselves with the Catholics because at no point were they in dispute with them over land and office, something that was not the case with the Anglicans.

  • slug

    Paddy you are aware of the mainstrem Presbyterians in Ireland? (PCI).

  • Quagmire

    “Withdraw the vote immediately and lets have a Catholic State/Constitution for a Catholic people.
    No place for these non Irish folk.”
    Posted by ulsterfan on Jan 09, 2009 @ 05:07 PM

    That’s some logic u have there UF. I’m sure its hard for u to get ur head around the concept that u can be Irish and Protestant at the same time. Catholic=Irish and Protestant=British only exists in ur tiny “our wee country” head. Pathetic really!

  • anon

    This is not a promotion for Mary Lou. She was unable to do the job as chairperson due to demands on her time in relation to Europe regular work, the Lisbon Treaty campaign and the keeping an eye and a presence in Dublin Central.

    The big move here is Kearney, the kind of professional needed for that office. Dawn Doyle as Gen Sec will be interesting to see if she can manage people as well as she can spindoctor.

  • PaddyReilly

    you are aware of the mainstream Presbyterians in Ireland?

    Yes but I choose to ignore them. The NSP places are mostly very old, and give a fair indication of where the United Men operated.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I also suspect the Southern Prods Darth mixes with may be from a different social set than the ones I do!”

    I bet we’re both pretty glad about that too Sammy!!
    Isn’t there a certain irony though?
    The rural Presbyterian Ulster Orangemen I associate with (especially in July) are probably the equivalent of the long defunct working class Tory voters- or perhaps the Liberal voters of the Outer Hebrides- people who see no need to change their outlook from that of their grandfathers because their world of practical problem solving hasn’t really changed much.They stand for the Queen, support Rangers, but also quite like GAA.THye hate Craig, and so the DPP turned its bac on the UUP until I arranged an informal get together for Jim Devenney in the mid 90s- apparently the first meeting he could remember
    My lower middle class relatives in Dublin are all FG

    I really hope I’m not stereotyping you- at least no more than myself, and certainly not in a malicious way-but I suspect that TCD intellectuals, and curates from Cloyne are at the forefront of liberal thought but semi-detached from practical life, A crisis for them is when the local bookshop doesn’t have the latest Salman Rushdie..

    the late Noel Maxwell County Grand Master of Monaghan was a local councillor in Monaghan in the mid 1990s. Seymour Crawford hoovered up his vote for FG.

    Incidentally, what are your views on the redrawing of boundaries in 1961 ( I think) in Donegal. My DPP friends swear the severing of NE Donegal DPP voters from the Protestant vote around Ballintra to prevent the last seat in the county ever going to a Prod. Obviously that was probably going to happen in due course, but the word “gerrymandering” has been used by my friends.

    And in the new dispensation wouldn’t it be a positive development if Jim Devenney was nominated to the Senate, to build on recent welcome gestures such as McAleese’s visit to Brakey Orange Hall?

  • Esoterica NI

    So if McElduff isn’t chosen, how about this? Sinn Féin parachute Mary Lou into the West Tyrone seat?