Mary Lou slips in anti government shoot out for last Dublin seat…

The Dublin count took it’s slow grinding route and a Socialist was elected to a European Parliament that has swung significantly to the right… Joe Higgins got his nose in front at the beginning and with each successive transfer of votes, slowly lengthened the gap until the sixth count he was 5k ahead. In the end he took just under a half of the Sinn Fein transfers, but it was enough to take him well past Fianna Fail’s Eoin Ryan…. So what now for Mary Lou? As recently appointed Deputy President, she no longer has a viable political project. Will she replace Catriona in the race for South Down? If not, where will she go?

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  • ecthelion

    maybe she should try a westminister seat in england or wales, seems anyone who is not labour stands a good chance.

  • jade

    like all carpetbaggers she should be run out of town.

  • jade

    shinners are awfully quiet today. wonder why?

  • kensei


    Mary Lou’s fortunes are tied in an unbreakable bond with SF’s fortunes in Dublin. What would the point be in moving her North? It only makes sense if you decide she has no hope of moving SF forward in Dublin. It doesn’t seem to me like the problems in Dublin are of her making. In any case, who would replace her?

    Pearse Doherty has a decent shot at a Dail seat in the next election. I suspect if May Lou misses out again, SF would look to get her a Senate seat.

  • oracle


    She has the whiff of failure about her as does not the entire SF machine down south.

    Going to the people of Dublin and beyond with a northern registered bus with Gerry Adams face blazened all over it and the party leaflets is just plain silly.
    Adams disgraced himself against McDowell on national TV and demonstrated to the entire world that he knew very very little of the economy, therefore to then couple yourself to a political embarrassment (economically speaking) at a time of economic crisis is a recipe for disaster.

    Every other party not in government saw huge rises in support… well everyone except Adams/icon worshipping SF.
    The idea that you can do the West Belfast trick of throwing a tri-colour over a goats arse and stand it beside Adams the nationalist demi-god and then watch it get elected won’t work in the Republic.

    Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise if SF get rid of both Adams and Mary Loser McDonald at the same time, one is old and done the other never existed inthe first place and would jump to FG in the the morning if they got her a safe seat, so neither would be a loss to SF long term

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    I think that is about the best analysis of Mary Lou Mc Donald I have read, Oracle.

    It is time for SF to wise up about Mary Lou. She is not, nor has she ever been a Republican. ( The Ruinator falls into the same category, imo, and needs to be unloaded asap.)

    Young Ferris, on the other hand, is a promising prospect for Sinn Fein. She is a very talented politician, her credentials are second to none, and she is , imo, the future for SF in the South.

    In days of protest politics such as we find ourselves in, Sinn Fein have failed dismally. Their inability ( the leadership’s) to understand even the basic concepts of economics, and their obvious failure to address that, ( between elections), has brought them to a political stalemate which will seen them languish as ‘the could have beens but never were.’

    There are plenty, young and not so young, educated and professionally experienced Republicans in Ireland and across the world; yet SF are stuck with this leadership; ignorant, hypocritical, and stalin-like in the grip on power.

    Unload. Start with Mary Lou followed closely by Ruane, Adams and Mc Guiness.

  • Gum

    All Mary Lou can do is to pick some issues facing Dublin and get stuck-in. She’d be rejected in a northern poll, and rightly so. Not that she is not talented but she is a Dubliner and SF shouldn’t take northern voters for granted.

    Defeat in the south isnt like defeat at Westminster – it does not spell the end of a career. Mary Lou is still young enough to build a career in the Dail. It’s just going to require hard work on the ground. Fighting the next city council seat wouldn’t be a bad way of showing commitment to the problems of the city of Dublin.

  • fin

    “She has the whiff of failure about her as does not the entire SF machine down south.”

    Oracle, I think you’ll find that was a southernly which passed through DUP heartlands

  • fin

    breeze, that is

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    I say send Mary Lou to West Tyrone and she can help Barry Mc Elduff paint the post boxes. He might be looking for a job himself, if what is rumoured about turn-out in his area is true!!!!! Not to mention the reception SF got at many doors they canvassed in their West Tyrone strong–holds!

    MaryLou will never again succeed in Dublin. It is not going to happen, ever, imo!
    SF would do well to rid themselves of her.

  • Eurocrat

    “The idea that you can do the West Belfast trick of throwing a tri-colour over a goats arse and stand it beside Adams the nationalist demi-god and then watch it get elected won’t work in the Republic”.

    That really got a laugh out of me Oracle! Thanks, you brightened up my day.

  • Gum

    MacDonald will win in Dublin again. She just needs to start working hard. She did well in this election, much better than I expected. Transfers were the killer and that will only be overcome next time by voters seeing commitment and hard work on the ground.

    But there is no reason to think she wont be back.

  • oldruss

    Help this Yank with a little analysis.

    In the Dublin City Council constituency, Sinn Fein looks to have lost the largest percentage of any party in first preference votes. I would have thought that in these difficult economic times, that Sinn Fein’s traditional economic message would have produced far better results. I understand the disconnect between Sinn Fein in the north and Sinn Fein in the south. The constituencies are entirely different, just as the history of the north and the south have been vastly different.

    One bright spot for Sinn Fein was the EU Parliamentary election in the South constituency where Ms. Ferris did remarkably well, IMHO. And, let’s not forget, that it was Mary Lou’s transfers that put Joe Higgins over the top in the Dublin constituency. If the number of seats had not been reduced, perhaps there would have been a different result.

  • ecthelion

    look at the percentages of first votes people, SF is stagnant in the North and has dipped in most parts of the south, with the exception of Ferris who has helped them save some face, but when you consider that the other Republican party has nose dived they should have surged ahead, need to look again.
    In NI the Unionist can blame the expenses scandal for the drop in turnout, did that effect SF too or is there more to it?

  • the future;s bright, the future’s orange

    i think with the national question sorted and the IRA out of business, normality is gradually moving into Northern Irish society. ie people don;t really give a crap.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The other important thing here is that SF’s expansion in NI came at the expense of the SDLP who are a soft target, unlike Fianna Fail.

  • Quagmire

    All this talk of SF being finished in the south is absolute tripe! SF are only really beginning in the 26 counties. 10 years ago they wouldn’t even have been in with any sort of chance at all. Lets put it into perspective. The Greens, currently in Govt, have only 3 councilors in the whole state, SF have over 50. The PD’s have only 1 TD and she is a Minister in the Cabinet. The problem they have is transfers, but this will sort itself out in time. Indeed no less than a week ago a chief FG strategist suggested that he would have no problems doing business with SF, which is an absolutely extraordinary and unprecedented statement to make considering FG’s past hostility towards the Republican movement. Moreover, in Mc Laughlin, Doherty, Ferris etc, the party has a wealth of young up coming talent and the future augers well for them. SF will be in govt in the 26 sooner rather than later, of this you can be assured.

  • McKelvey

    In regard to Mary Lou, to paraphrase something that was said by others during the Dail election a few years past and I’ll mention it again: Nicky Kehoe wouldn’t have lost the seat.

  • I saw Adams (like Oldruss on this thread) saying it was our transfers that got Higgins elected as if this was some sort of reflected glory, rather than Higgins knocking McDonald out of the race.

    Losing out to Fianna Fáil for the third seat would have been no disgrace. Losing out to Higgins is a disaster for Mary Lou and her party. This demonstrates that the electorate no longer regards her as an effective politician, and certainly not when faced with a serious rival.

    Let’s be clear about what has happened. In a race for the same type of voter, a small Trotskyist party has proven able to beat a sitting MEP and vice-president of a party aiming to be in government across Ireland. It’s a disaster for the effective leader of PSF in the south. Added to the loss of 5 seats in Dublin, and their credibility and momentum is very damaged.

    McDonald needs to get elected somewhere soon. As for the senate, someone posted this on a thread at Cedar Lounge Revolution. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it suggests a serious problem for McDonald.

    “The problem with that is that even if Doherty wins the by-election in Donegal SW, the senate vacancy would be filled by the Dáil, ensuring a seat for FF (or perhaps a consolation prize for the Greens).”

  • realitycheque

    It’s simple really, Ferris is better looking. Not so chubby.

  • AdamsandLoughgall

    Yes, realitycheque, but there is still something attractive about Mary-Lou. Maybe it is the sense that she could ultimately fit neatly into FG or similar. And she seems reasonably normal and not unattractively weird like Catriona R.

    Anyhow fair play to you Joe Higgins. You’ve given us another Dail bye-election to look forward to!

  • Comrade Stalin


    SF will be in govt in the 26 sooner rather than later, of this you can be assured.

    Perhaps you could partner with UCUNF in the North and rule all of Ireland, father and son.

  • dunreavynomore

    “Moreover, in Mc Laughlin, Doherty, Ferris etc, the party has a wealth of young up coming talent and the future augers well for them.”
    I hear this said by S.F. often enough but I struggle to come up with one example of the talent . Can you post a few examples of, for instance, new policies or strategies any of them have come up with? Have any of them challenged the old guard on their policies or rocked the old boat in any way? O.K, boat rocking may not be accepted in S.F. but there must be some way we can look at this great talent.

  • Sean Og

    Mary Lou is a great girl & has great potential. She should put this defeat behind her.

    She really needs some experince in the Dail or Council to make her a credible candidate.

    Saying “I was on leave” isn’t good enough any more.
    The people of Dublin deserve more.

    She can do it I think but she needs to get into the Dail.

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    “She should put this defeat behind her.”

    And Sinn Fein should put her behind them.

    I agree there is some talent in Sinn Fein, as in those named above. What needs to happen is that the ‘old-timers’ step aside and the young blood come up with non-Adams/McGuiness dominated debate within the party; FORM SOME ACTUAL POLICY.

    What a travesty that in an era when revolutionary thought and policy may actually have made some impact- SF fell short, big time. ( As is, Sinn Fein is done.)

  • Sean Og,

    Where is the potential for a seat for her? She did really badly in Dublin Central last time after being put in there. Now we can say Ahern got 40-odd % of the vote and so she was squeezed. But Christy Burke – who has a very strong track record in the area – got only 9% in the by-election at an optimal time like this. I think she really is in a great deal of difficulty, and that Belfast has made a mistake pushing her so hard. She’d have been better as one of a number of prominent southerners, rather than the de facto southern leader.

  • barnshee

    Try flashing her knickers at the camera— it helped ms ferris or go commando and hope that wakes up the support

  • Greenflag

    oldruss ,

    ‘that Sinn Fein’s traditional economic message would have produced far better results.’

    It did -It elected Joe Higgins of the SP (Socialist Party) (i.e Communist ) which is even further to the left than SF . Whether this is a permanent loss remains to be seen.

    There was a time in Dublin when the merest hint from a priest or bishop that a political candidate was a socialist or communist would be enough to ensure political oblivion , a lost deposit or less than 300 votes in any election .

    Those days are gone -forever .

  • Dave

    Joe Higgins is a former Catholic preist – and Jesus was a communist. 😉

    The Shinners seem to have dropped the line that if Mary Lou lost that it should be attributed to boundary changes rather than to a failure of the Shinner brand – probably because those changes didn’t stop a newcomer from taking the seat.

    Still, it’s not a nice way to start to her 40th year. That’s bad enough without losing your meal ticket a few weeks into it.

  • Dublin Socialist

    “probably because those changes didn’t stop a newcomer from taking the seat”

    Joe Higgins is hardly a new comer as he was a TD for over ten years.

    Fantastic result for Joe. The one problem I think Sinn Féin in the south have is appearing to be left wing while up the north implementing savage attacks against working class communities.

    Combined with the seats the SP picked up in local elections, including topping the poll in Cork, it will be interesting to see if the party can push forward in the north. With so little to choose from among the big parties in Stormont in terms of economic policies hopefully space will be created for a non scetarian socialist alternative.

  • Dave

    Who said he was a newcomer to politics? I said he is a newcomer to that boundary, where his success in it contrasts with the spin from the Shinners that any difficulty Mary Lou might expereince was due to the Dublin constituency changing from a four-seater to a three-seater.

  • Dave

    Err, actually… having just checked, he’s not a newcomer to that boundary. He ran unsuccessfully in 1999 (8th place) and 2004 (9th place), finishing. The point stands, however.