“I don’t want to make a career out of politics..”

Some of the contributors to our comment zone have been pointing optimistically towards Toiréasa Ferris’ performance as an exception to Sinn Féin’s otherwise moribund polling in the Irish local and European elections (+0.1%) [Wise the voters are.. – Ed]. But the candidate herself has made some interesting comments in reaction to her elimination.

Despite trailing independent candidate Kathy Sinnott by only 688, her team decided not to call for a recount. Carrying her 14-month-old daughter Liadain Ni Chellaig and supported by her partner Patrick Kelly and father, TD Martin Ferris, she said she was glad to return to normal life, despite surprising many with her strong electoral performance.

“For the party I would have loved if we had just gone over that line and taking that seat,” she said. “But on a personal basis my family life has suffered over the last number of months. Whether we would have been able to arrange a situation where that would that be the case in the future, we will never know now.”

Continued

“I’m happy to be going home with the strong vote that we got for Sinn Féin and with my baby on my hip where she will stay for the next couple of weeks.”

The newly-elected Tralee Town Councillor and Kerry County Councillor admitted that at first she had to be convinced to run for the European seat as she had no political ambitions.

“I don’t want to make a career out of politics,” she added.

“What we were looking to do in this campaign was provide a new generation of politicians and in that you don’t need people who are worried about minding their seats and not giving consideration to the people and what’s best for them.”

, , , , ,

  • Pancho’s Horse

    A Íosa Chríost, learn how to spell!

  • Ms Ferris seems wise in her years.

    Quite frankly, on a margin of 688, the likelihood of a recount overturning the result is slight.

    I think I can just about recall the General Election of 1965, when a children’s crusade from TCD and UCD got Michael O’Leary (no, not that one) in for Dublin North-Central, on the eleventh count. The last two of those counts were niggling by the affronted defeated candidate, who did herself no favours by her behaviour (but it was that sort of election).

    Subsequently, under first-past-the-post, I lost a UK constituency result by something in the six-hundreds. Because the Returning Officer had filled the wrong name in his prepared pro-forma (“and I hereby declare the aforenamed …”), and the reporter had peeped over his accommodating shoulder, my “election” even went out on the ITN ticker-tape. I’ve still got the congratulatory telegrams.

    There we were, huddled at the microphone, as the Returning Officer began his spiel. I knew the count, and saw his script. Covering the microphone with one hand, I stage-whispered in his ear, “You’ve got the wrong name”.

    The farce continued. The Returning Officer was replying, “Well, how do you spell it then?” The (properly-elected) Tory bundled in with “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” The various agents and the third candidate made it a group hug.

    For a nano-second I had pondered the consequences: if my name was announced, incorrectly, would it need an Electoral Court to overthrow it?

    Further finger-jabbing at the script eventually persuaded the Presiding Officer tthere was an error. Phew!

    The bundles on the table told a different story, however. We paid our due respects and left with our dignity intact.

    It still wakes me up, in the fastnesses of the night, with a nightmare of what the alternative could have done to my peace of mind, my family life, even my self-respect.

    So, sane, sensible and sensitive Ms Ferris got it absolutely right. I never thought I’d be saying that about one of her persuasion.

  • redhugh78

    What many unionists don’t seem to grasp is that there is no-one in Sinn Fein for personal or certainly not financial gain.

    Their party activists work at election times for nothing when other parties have to pay contractors to erect posters etc.

  • 0b101010

    What many unionists don’t seem to grasp is that there is no-one in Sinn Fein for personal or certainly not financial gain

    Don’t be naïve — everyone does what they do for personal gain. We can squabble over definitions, but if people have nothing to gain from involving themselves in politics they won’t get involved.

    As for Toiréasa, well, she’s either trotting out the old “want to spend time with my family” excuse to save face or she’s exposed her own inappropriateness as a political candidate for any seat. Either Sinn Féin did an awful job in selection, or they’re thin on the ground for viable candidates.

    “It’s OK because I didn’t want the job anyway”? Is that really the best the party can offer the island and Europe as a whole? How come her election material never said that?

    If she doesn’t want to make a career in politics, what does that say about her roles in the Tralee and Kerry councils?

  • oracle

    Must admit it was a very silly thing to state in public just after an election defeat.
    Either she does want a career in politics which makes her a liar, or she doesn’t want a career in politics which makes her a fraud!

    Redhugh78,

    I’d just like to nail this myth of the poor wee SF industrial wage,

    The figure agreed is £350.00 per week net (after tax contrib’s ect)
    now I don’t know what you earn (industrially speaking) but there wouln’t be many people I would know who can walk into the family at the end of the week with their Tax paid, NI contribs paid, pension payments made, breakfast, lunch and dinners paid, family car taxed, insured, mot’ed and fully fueled and then
    STILL HAVE £350.00 TO THROW ON THE TABLE

    Now on top of that £350.00 SF members get to keep their expenses for themselves and SF expenses at Stormont traditionally have always been higher than other parties (it’s all recorded go check)

  • Methinks 0b101010 @ 05:32 AM has a point, but doth protest too much.

    Ms Ferris is not without other strings, as that posting implies.

    On that advice, I’ve just caught up with the detail for Kerry County Council.

    In the Tralee division, there she is, with 3,004 first preferences, against a quota of 2,180. Admittedly she didn’t top the poll (that’s a Spring, but natch).

    The lady isn’t entirely stuck with Kinder, Küche, Kirche. But, equally, she must be doing something that appeals to the good folk down there.

  • Ms Ferris has made similar statements during the campaign [re: here apparent reluctance for a life in politics]. given that she would probably be able to take her father’s seat in the Dail when he decides to retire, I wonder if she will go for it.

    Re a 688 vote margin, it’s not that big a gap in a Euro vote – Declan Ganley (Ireland North-West) lost 3,000 votes after a recount [and as he was the one who had called it, it was a bit unfortunate for him]

  • RG Cuan

    I’m a bit disappointed that Toiréasa Ferris doesn’t seem that fussed about continuing in politics.

    Sinn Féin in the south need a new leading face and i thought she might have been it.

  • “SF expenses at Stormont traditionally have always been higher than other parties (it’s all recorded go check)”

    oracle,
    Oddly enough I did that some time ago. Doesn’t really match what you’re saying, but maybe things have changed since then.

  • Mick Fealty

    O,

    She had no face to save, that was a stunning performance on anybody’s scoring system. And take into account the conventional wisdom was that she would not get transfers and you have first for SF in the south, a candidate who can pull in from across the piste.

    I suspect there are other parties in the south wishing she’d been running for them.

  • oracle

    Mick,

    i don’t think she has a face to save and I think it was a very very solid performance, but we were refering to her quotation

    “I don’t want to make a career out of politics..”

    also having two close relations who were tallying at the count I stated that she was not getting transfers from the important sources on the ballot some days ago.
    SF only recieved transfers in large percentages from smaller fringe parties, Ms Ferris and SF would have very disappointed with the Sinnott transfers or Lab if that had been the scenario.

    Alas for Ferris and SF in this election the best they could do mathematically was 5th

  • redhugh78

    oracle,
    You talk complete codswallop,
    that may be true for MPs/MEPs/AMs but compare that wage to what say an SDLP/unionist MP would take home NET would I suspect be grossly hgher.

    The personal gain is the unification of their country not a pay cheque that is the main motivation.

  • aw…

    How touching! Shame about those who lost their children at the hands of the weapons brought in by her father and his mates who didn’t really have such choices to make.

  • 0b101010

    Methinks 0b101010 @ 05:32 AM has a point, but doth protest too much.

    Have to admit that I don’t get the idiom in the context of what I wrote. What do you mean?

    The lady isn’t entirely stuck with Kinder, Küche, Kirche. But, equally, she must be doing something that appeals to the good folk down there.

    “Doing something” isn’t always as much of a factor into getting elected as we’d all like to think* but, no doubt, they must have their reasons to elect her.

    (* After all, is that what put SF, DUP and UUP into Europe?)

    She had no face to save, that was a stunning performance on anybody’s scoring system.

    A laudable performance, yes, but still a losing one. Thankfully. Sinn Féin put up a candidate that had no appetite for the job. That’s frankly appalling. Now what if she had won her Pyrrhic victory? Is that giving consideration to the electorate? Is that’s what’s best for them?

    I suspect there are other parties in the south wishing she’d been running for them.

    If they think that after hearing what she said, then they are dangerous fools.

    As I said before, and it’s really my main point, if she didn’t trot out the old favourite to save face, then she declared herself unsuitable as a candidate for any seat — including the ones she already holds.

    oracle put it more succinctly than I did:

    Either she does want a career in politics which makes her a liar, or she doesn’t want a career in politics which makes her a fraud!