Cllr Christy Burke resigns from Sinn Fein…

There’s a major ruck going over at politics.ie , starting with a rumour about a senior SF rep resigning, then hardening into reported fact on the lunch time news on Rte… Now the issue there is whether he was a senior figure in the party or not… Well, he was the chosen candidate to run in the Dublin Central by election… That brings the party’s total down to six councillors in Dublin (it still says seven on RTE and Elections Ireland)… The party’s last remaining Dublin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh reckons:

“He has been a republican activist all of his life and is recognised for his contribution. He should now honour the commitment that he made only weeks ago and return what is a Sinn Féin seat to the party.”

A member of the party for forty years, and councillor for 25, Iit seems doubtful that Mr Burke will be obliging anytime soon.. Mr O’Snodaigh has worries of his own..

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  • kensei

    Ouch. Though I have to say the complete cynicism of doing this less than week after an election is a some kind of new low.

  • Mick Fealty

    It depends what went on before that Ken.. He’s hardly a fly-by-night.. He personally has a lot of capital stored up, but it counted for little when he carried the banner against Maureen O’Sullivan… looks like the left Republicans in Dublin are leaving a sinking ship…

  • Dublin voter

    It’s certainly a surprise. PSF’s first councillor in Dublin iirc. But never made it to the Dáil – the middle class half of the constituency could never warm to his genuine working class persona never mind his membership of SF/IRA (as many of them would have seen it).

    His reasons for going can be speculated on ad nauseum but it’s certainly a blow for SF, in Dublin and nationally. A real challenge for them now to pick themselves up after a standstill local election. What way will they go? Will they have the enthusiasm to keep on? My guess is that some of them won’t and that Burke’s resignation is an example of that.

  • Dave

    Christy Burke has huge ‘street cred’ among Dublin’s working class. He was always seen as a hardcore Tony Gregory. Big loss for the Shinners…

  • kensei

    Mick

    I’m sure he could likely have won on his own. But SF would have run a candidate, at least. Whatever went on before, it’s a giant fuck you.

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    And in typical SF style, the demonisation of Christy Burke begins.

    If they decide to demonise him in earnest, let me be the first to say, they will be making the biggest mistake they have ever made, in Dublin, and that is saying something!!!

    Christy Burke, is one of the mosty highly respected political activists in Ireland. Surely SF understand that?

  • McKelvey

    If Adams, McGuinness etc. still possess their positions in the party leadership after a week or two as they likely will, I think that you’ll see more people resigning from the party.
    For two elections in a row, they have managed to humiliate themselves and the party. Their leadership has proven to be stale, incompetent, undemocratic, intellectually bankrupt, and quite simply a blatant failure.
    Sinn Fein had great potential after the GFA as a political alternative and had a fair amount of goodwill from the nationalist electorate.
    All of which has been squandered by a leadership too arrogant to realize that the slow, steady stream of people out of the party (all stating similar reasons – lack of party democracy, authoritarianism etc)and the increasing alienation of people in traditionally republican areas (hence the turnout for the recent election)is a direct result of the suffocating grip they have on every aspect of the party’s existence.
    It’s not healthy for any political party to maintain the same leadership clique continually for 30 years, nor is it a very healthy sign that after two disastrous elections in a row the party’s leader has neither given his resignation nor has it even been requested. Thus Republicans can look forward to more electoral failure, unprincipled leadership, and politics utterly devoid of conviction until this leadership finally dies off.
    Unless of course, there are any republicans of stature left in Sinn Fein, who haven’t been bought off, with the integrity and the courage to challenge a leadership that is quite frankly an embarrassment.
    In the absence of that, I don’t see how any republican could support or be involved in such an organization.

  • McKelvey

    “He has been a republican activist all of his life and is recognised for his contribution. He should now honour the commitment that he made only weeks ago and return what is a Sinn Féin seat to the party.”

    I’m sorry, but Christy Burke was elected in spite of the fact that he’s in Sinn Fein. Such is the esteem the man is held in by his constituents.
    If it weren’t Christy Burke running, Sinn Fein wouldn’t have won a seat.
    And honestly, are the Shinners so divorced from reality that they think they are in a position to lecture anyone on honoring commitments?

  • McKelvey

    “He has been a republican activist all of his life and is recognised for his contribution. He should now honour the commitment that he made only weeks ago and return what is a Sinn Féin seat to the party.”

    I’m sorry, but Christy Burke was elected in spite of the fact that he’s in Sinn Fein. Such is the esteem the man is held in by his constituents.
    If it weren’t Christy Burke running, Sinn Fein wouldn’t have won that seat. It;s that simple.
    And honestly, are the Shinners so divorced from reality that they think they are in a position to lecture anyone on honoring commitments?

  • kensei

    Johnnieismarchinghome

    Johnnieismarchinghome

    I’m not SF. I knowm absolutely nothign about him. It’s still a giant fuck you to the party. How can be else?

    McKelvey

    When SF have actually had a “disastrous election” please come back. Life is tough, they ran into difficulties and have plateaued but hung in there. If anything the resilence is encouraging. Disaster is what happened to the Greens, or the PDs.

    If anyone challenges the leadership at the moment, they’ll be wiped out. Adams enjoys widespread support North of the border and holds all the patronage power. Questioning people’s intregity is immensely tiresome. That’s all TRUFAX, kid.

  • McKelvey

    “He has been a republican activist all of his life and is recognised for his contribution. He should now honour the commitment that he made only weeks ago and return what is a Sinn Féin seat to the party.”

    I’m sorry, but Christy Burke was elected in spite of the fact that he’s in Sinn Fein. Such is the esteem the man is held in by his constituents.
    If it weren’t Christy Burke running, Sinn Fein wouldn’t have won that seat. It’s that simple.
    And honestly, are the Shinners so divorced from reality that they think they are in a position to lecture anyone on honoring commitments?

  • Go on ya boy ya!

    Why does everyone assume that the party did not know he was leaving and ask him to hold off announcing until after the election? Why the assumption that he was using the party to get elected, when all evidence points to his getting elected is down to his personal support? Is it not more logical to assume the party was using him to bolster their electoral strategy? After all, it would have hardly helped them to have publicly lost him before the election, now would it?

    Face reality. He did the party a favour by waiting until after the election to publicly leave SF. It would have been a disaster for them if he didn’t. And that, my friends, is a demonstration of party loyalty you won’t find many places.

    Any SF supporter who now turns around and rubbishes the man for not embarrassing them during the electoral season is a complete and utter dickhead. And no wonder he effin left the party if that is the case.

    Fair play to the man

    Hope Dessie joins him soon

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    Election recap:

    In the two Dublin by elections Sinn Féin INCREASED vote share.

    In the LOCAL elections, Sinn Féin MAINTAINED its number of countillors.

    In the 26 county Euro elections, Sinn Féin INCREASED vote share.

    In the 6 county Euro election, Sinn Féin TOPPED THE POLL.

    This was a successful election for Sinn Féin.

  • Dec

    And in typical SF style, the demonisation of Christy Burke begins…
    Christy Burke, is one of the mosty highly respected political activists in Ireland

    And clearly the canonisation of Christy Burke has begun by the types who viewed him and his politics as something they’d stepped on, right up until this morning. Funny that.

  • kensei

    Face reality. He did the party a favour by waiting until after the election to publicly leave SF. It would have been a disaster for them if he didn’t. And that, my friends, is a demonstration of party loyalty you won’t find many places.

    Yes. He was so loyal he walked right out.

    Buh?

  • Go on ya boy ya!

    Kensei, if rumblings are true he was unhappy well before the election but rather than embarrass the party during the campaign and run as an independent, which would have done huge damage to SF – much more damage than what they ended up suffering – he waited until after the election was over to announce his departure. That smacks of a save-face for SF deal and Burke doing them a favour, not of Burke using SF to get elected as some party drones are attempting to spin.

    So yes, keeping quiet about his dissatisfaction with the party all during the campaign and staying on board with them during such instead of leaving them and causing all sorts of problems for them trying to clean up that mess in an area they could ill afford such problems is a sign of loyalty.

    It was a decent thing for him to do. Which, given that SF is the party it is, is understandable that SF supporters aren’t able to recognise.

    I just find it foolish in the extreme for people to assume that 1) SF didn’t know he was leaving and 2) there wasn’t an agreement between the party and Burke to wait until after the election to announce it, to benefit the party. Burke would have gotten elected regardless.

    And what’ll you do when Dessie goes too

  • kensei

    Go

    I’ll defer to greater local knowledge.

    And what’ll you do when Dessie goes too

    I’ll not do anything. Why would I?

  • Sean Og

    Strange timing.

    If had run as an independent he would have had to pay for his own campaign. Looks like a stab in the back to me.

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    Sean Og:

    Christy Burke has more than earned anything/support he ever got from SF. More than!

    This is clearly what is wrong with SF- they fail to honour the hard work done for years by activists, volunteers etc etc… and take up a campaign of demonisation.

    I knew Christy Burke many years ago, when he worked for nothing, day and night, cleaning up the streets of inner city Dublin, when the poor people there had been abandoned to the heroin epidemic. His credentials are top-notch. No amount of SF spin can change that.

    SF need to take some time now to analyse why this is happening. The vote catastrophe ( spin it all you want) in the South will be replicated in the coming days all over Ireland because SF have lost their base- the people who have been through the tough times, and bore the brunt of the troubles.

  • McKelvey

    When SF have actually had a “disastrous election” please come back. Life is tough, they ran into difficulties and have plateaued but hung in there. If anything the resilence is encouraging. Disaster is what happened to the Greens, or the PDs.

    If anyone challenges the leadership at the moment, they’ll be wiped out. Adams enjoys widespread support North of the border and holds all the patronage power. Questioning people’s intregity is immensely tiresome. That’s all TRUFAX, kid.

    Every party not part of the government saw its vote increase except Sinn Fein, which saw its vote decrease. They lost their only MEP in the state, to a candidate from a Trotskyite fringe sect. People presented as potential TDs lost re-election to a council seat(!).
    Resilience would be encouraging if they’d manage to show any from their last election, which, as you may recall, did not go quite as well as they may have hoped. So no resilience, just more stagnation.
    A party, which has routinely presented itself as an alternative to the established parties, as a party for the working class, as a party with a fresh, new vision for politics on this island, that in an election held amidst a severe economic downturn cannot make use of a window of opportunity such as this – like every other party not in government did – is nothing short of disastrous.It is, in my opinion, a clear indictment of the ineptitude of the current leadership.
    Yes, Adams holds the patronage power, not the Cumainn, not the Comhairle Ceantair, not even not the Ard Chomhairle, in short not the membership. (very encouraging situation for republicans, n’est pas?)
    Adams has held the post of party president for 26 years (and for five years prior to that he was party vice-president)and has never had a significant challenge to his leadership (anyone care to argue that’s a healthy situation or that it’s a reflection of Sinn Fein’s thriving and refreshing culture of internal party democracy?).
    Yes, Adams does enjoy support north of the border (anyone disputing this?). Yes, he has an iron grip on the party’s leadership (anyone disputing that?).
    Though would you really want to argue that Sinn Fein thrives north of the border, especially in traditionally republican areas?
    Did you get the sense that in places like south Armagh and west Tyrone republicans just went in droves for the opportunity to vote in a Sinn Fein MEP?

    You may find my opinions tiresome, immensely or otherwise, and you’re welcome to refrain from responding if it so bothers you. But, it is far better to be found tiresome than to be the sort of person who resorts to casual and anonymous insults while hidden behind a computer screen.

  • kensei

    McKelvy

    You may find my opinions tiresome, immensely or otherwise, and you’re welcome to refrain from responding if it so bothers you. But, it is far better to be found tiresome than to be the sort of person who resorts to casual and anonymous insults while hidden behind a computer screen.

    Correct. They are tiresome. Leaders always hold patronage power; it’s one of the reaosns Brown is still in power. Certain amout of power rests elsewhere, but that is how it is always and everywhere.

    I am as or more republican than you, or anyone in South Armagh or elsewhere and I’ll not have it gainsayed. True believer talk can fuck right off, frankly. In any case, I believe SF did quite well in both West Tyrone and South Armagh. Perhaps you’d like to inquire of Chris Gaskin at Balrog.

    I don’t believe I insulted you. I can if you like. This is a site for political debate. i think you are wrong mcwrongson. If you don’t want debate, don’t pos. kthanksbye.

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    If SF had any class, or smarts for that matter, they would acknowledge the stellar work of Christy Burke, instead of attempting to demonise him.

    But the history of resignations from SF makes that highly unlikely.

    To you younger SF people; Christy Burke is in a league of his own for his work with the people in need in inner city Dublin.

    Tread carefully with the comments and speculation-

  • McKelvey

    Correct. They are tiresome. Leaders always hold patronage power; it’s one of the reaosns Brown is still in power. Certain amout of power rests elsewhere, but that is how it is always and everywhere.

    I am as or more republican than you, or anyone in South Armagh or elsewhere and I’ll not have it gainsayed. True believer talk can fuck right off, frankly. In any case, I believe SF did quite well in both West Tyrone and South Armagh. Perhaps you’d like to inquire of Chris Gaskin at Balrog.

    I don’t believe I insulted you. I can if you like. This is a site for political debate. i think you are wrong mcwrongson. If you don’t want debate, don’t pos. kthanksbye.
    —-

    Yes, Brown does hold patronage power, obviously, but he does not “hold all the patronage power”. However, he will likely be out of a job by next year after 3 years or so leading the party, which no doubt you’ll agree is a far cry from 26 years?

    While we’re at it, can you think of any political party with serious ambitions to participate in governing a democratic state, that has not had a leadership change or even a serious challenge to its leadership in nearly thirty years?

    I’m sure Sinn Fein did better than anyone else in west Tyrone or south Armagh, but well? No. Their vote is down province wide both in absolute numbers and percentage share.

    I couldn’t possibly careless how republican you are or are not. This really isn’t about you because as you obviously know this is a website for political debate.

  • McKelvey

    Correct. They are tiresome. Leaders always hold patronage power; it’s one of the reaosns Brown is still in power. Certain amout of power rests elsewhere, but that is how it is always and everywhere.

    I am as or more republican than you, or anyone in South Armagh or elsewhere and I’ll not have it gainsayed. True believer talk can fuck right off, frankly. In any case, I believe SF did quite well in both West Tyrone and South Armagh. Perhaps you’d like to inquire of Chris Gaskin at Balrog.

    I don’t believe I insulted you. I can if you like. This is a site for political debate. i think you are wrong mcwrongson. If you don’t want debate, don’t pos. kthanksbye.
    —-

    Yes, Brown does hold patronage power, obviously, but he does not “hold all the patronage power”. However, he will likely be out of a job by next year after 3 years or so leading the party, which no doubt you’ll agree is a far cry from 26 years?

    While we’re at it, can you think of any political party with serious ambitions to participate in governing a democratic state, that has not had a leadership change or even a serious challenge to its leadership in nearly thirty years?

    I’m sure Sinn Fein did better than anyone else in west Tyrone or south Armagh, but well? No. Their vote is down province wide both in absolute numbers and percentage share.

    I couldn’t possibly careless how republican you are or are not. This really isn’t about you because as you obviously know this is a website for political debate.

  • McKelvey

    The Republican vote was excellent in South Armagh and West Tyrone.

    Thanks for asking; now wind your neck in! You’re going off on one like a bulldog chewing wasps

  • John

    With Burke away the party’s successes have been even greater. The genius packed leadership got it right. A majority in the Dail next time round for sure. Then Gerry will win the US presidency. All going according to plan

  • kensei

    Yes, Brown does hold patronage power, obviously, but he does not “hold all the patronage power”. However, he will likely be out of a job by next year after 3 years or so leading the party, which no doubt you’ll agree is a far cry from 26 years?

    If he kept progressing, he’d keep being in power. And by any stretch, Adams has done well for them over that period. SF was a typically party until a few years ago, at any rate, so its not an entirely constructive comparison.

    I’m sure Sinn Fein did better than anyone else in west Tyrone or south Armagh, but well? No. Their vote is down province wide both in absolute numbers and percentage share.

    Turnout is down across the board. It’s not really an exciting election. Less so for SF, though. In percentage share? 0.3% is not statistically significant. It is painful to argue this as it is for dublinsf arguing the SF was great.

    I couldn’t possibly careless how republican you are or are not. This really isn’t about you because as you obviously know this is a website for political debate.

    It wasn’t really about me; it was about you producing some ridiculous hierarchy of republicanism.

  • Dave

    “A party, which has routinely presented itself as an alternative to the established parties, as a party for the working class, as a party with a fresh, new vision for politics on this island, that in an election held amidst a severe economic downturn cannot make use of a window of opportunity such as this – like every other party not in government did – is nothing short of disastrous.” – McKelvey

    That’s the gist of it. But no matter how many times you say “failure” to these cultists, their minds are programmed to think “Another great success masterminded by the leadership. Victory will soon be ours!”

    As you said, their bogus sales pitch was based on being an alternative to the established order and when people started shopping for an alternative, they left the Shinners sitting on the shelves. Major failure of the brand. 😉

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    Their vote was ‘excellent’ in South Armagh and West Tyrone:

    Is that SF speak for ” It was alright, we don’t really want to talk about the fact, that half of Carrickmore chased SF from their doors and didn’t go to the polls”?

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    3.“A party, which has routinely presented itself as an alternative to the established parties, as a party for the working class, as a party with a fresh, new vision for politics on this island, that in an election held amidst a severe economic downturn cannot make use of a window of opportunity such as this – like every other party not in government did – is nothing short of disastrous.” – McKelvey

    Absolutely, spot on.

    Despite the spin, this was a disaster for SF.

  • McKelvey

    Kensei
    “If (Brown) kept progressing, he’d keep being in power. And by any stretch, Adams has done well for them over that period. SF was a typically party until a few years ago, at any rate, so its not an entirely constructive comparison.”

    Sinn Fein have not done well over the last few years. They are electorally stagnant and they were completely unable to make any electoral gains under conditions that are absolutely perfect for a party that markets itself as Sinn Fein does. The responsibility for this unpleasant fact unequivocally rests with the leadership.
    Moreover, it was you who brought Brown into this not I.

    “Turnout is down across the board. It’s not really an exciting election. Less so for SF, though. In percentage share? 0.3% is not statistically significant. It is painful to argue this as it is for dublinsf arguing the SF was great.”

    Perhaps, but if Sinn Fein cannot convince the people, who voted for them in 1985, to come out and vote for them now, it suggests a deeper problem than mere apathy.

    “It wasn’t really about me; it was about you producing some ridiculous hierarchy of republicanism.”

    To suggest that being critical of the current, in my opinion failed, leadership of Sinn Fein, a party that I have supported my entire adult life, somehow equates constructing a “hierarchy of republicanism” is frankly bizarre.

  • McKelvey

    Gaskin,
    “The Republican vote was excellent in South Armagh and West Tyrone.
    Thanks for asking; now wind your neck in! You’re going off on one like a bulldog chewing wasps”

    Nonsense. Simply getting more votes than your opponents in areas where you were dominant anyway is hardly excellence by any decent standard.

    To use an analogy, it’s like a fat kid, who was in a dieting contest with four other fat kids to see who could lose the most weight, claiming victory (or say, excellence) because he lost 10 lbs more than his opponents, despite the fact that he was still a 100 lbs overweight.

  • redhugh78

    McKelvey Sinn fein Consolidated their vote with
    an electoral turnout down 9% from the last time, yes they dropped their %share a wopping 0.3%!! they are in meltdown I guess eh?

  • redhugh78

    McKelvey Sinn fein Consolidated their vote with
    an electoral turnout down 9% from the last time, yes they dropped their %share a wopping 0.3%!! they are in meltdown I guess eh?

  • Ladies and gents

    If you are seriously telling that this was a disaster for Sinn Fein then I have only one thing to say.

    Long may it continue!

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    Chris,

    Do you think we don’t read YOUR blog?

    Not much ‘long may it continue’ celebrations going on ever there!

    Neverthless, you are stuffed full of rhetoric tonight- although a bit short of anything factual, or even attempting to debate anything written about SF here.

  • I was referring to the 6 county election.

    No point debating facts or figures with you boys, a total waste of my time.

  • McKelvey

    ” Sinn fein Consolidated their vote with
    an electoral turnout down 9% from the last time, yes they dropped their %share a wopping 0.3%!! they are in meltdown I guess eh? ”

    She managed to get 9,000 more votes than Mitchel McLaughlin did 10 years ago when he came in fourth place.
    Evidence of a meltdown? No.
    Evidence of stagnation and mediocrity? Yes.

  • erasmus

    She managed to get 9,000 more votes than Mitchel McLaughlin did 10 years ago when he came in fourth place.
    Evidence of a meltdown? No.
    Evidence of stagnation and mediocrity? Yes.

    I aint no Babs fan but to be fair she got 26% to McLaughlin’s 17%.

  • 2050

    No man is an Island.

    SF will recover from this and find a way to reconnect with the southern electorate.

    These are exceptional times.

  • Dave

    One of the major problems that the Shinners have is that no man can serve two masters. They can’t be loyal to both Her Majesty’s national interest and to the Irish national interest. While the voters don’t grasp the subtle aspects of this, they do see it is broad outline when, for example, the Irish minister for finance berates shoppers for spending money in Northern Ireland, thereby boosting the taxes of Her Majesty’s government at the direct expense of the Irish taxpayer, and they also see the Shinners, as members of Her Majesty’s devolved administration, encouraging those shoppers to go to Northern Ireland, thereby promoting Her Majesty’s interests ahead of the interests of the Irish state. They don’t to be a political Einstein to figure out that you cannot have a party in the Irish government that is acting in the interests of a foreign government, so they regard this party as not only irrelevant but as detrimental to the Irish national interest.

    In addition, because every party must tailor its policies to its own country, and because Northern Ireland is fundamentally different to Ireland, they see that two sets of policies are required and that no party can promote two sets of policies. The logic of that is to split into two parties for the two separate states but that would expose the Shinners own pretence that the British national interest and the Irish national interest are interchangeable as a fanciful delusion. Even if they followed that logic, they still would have the fundamental problem that they cannot serve two masters.

    That’s not to mention the utter contempt with which the Sinners are regarded in Ireland, and that isn’t going to fade away no matter how many pretty (or less fugly) faces they stick on posters. They have managed, rather like a parasite or a pimp (take your pick), to attach themselves to specific causes in Northern Ireland and to conflate support for those causes with support for a political party, but that’s just a local trick and makes them a one-trick pony.

  • McKelvey

    Erasmus,
    I aint no Babs fan but to be fair she got 26% to McLaughlin’s 17%.

    That is very true. It’s also true that John Hume got 190,731 votes that year (a difference of
    ~65,000 votes from Bairbre de Brun’s total).

    Now, I can understand why the SDLP lost those 65,000 votes. I suspect it’s for the same reasons that Sinn Fein can’t convince them to vote for SF either.

  • Packy McBooner

    Christy Burke was never a serious candidate. I remember in the old days after the broadcasting ban was lifted, he was asked about divorce. He gave a silly answer.
    Burke had his own team of helpers and was elected long before SF were a force in Dublin.
    He did well out of it with his house on the Malahide Road etc. Not bad for a guy on disability.

    But SF is not a bankable party. It has the Hardwicke St mob like Burke and the Rahtgar gals who like a bit of ageing rough (Mary Lou and Martin the Ram McGuinness). Niche sectors at best.