“I’m still a councillor..”

Strabane District Councillor, Gerard Foley, has resigned from Sinn Féin. There have been indictators of discontent among Sinn Féin representatives in Strabane before. Interestingly a report at that time, November 2007, describes Gerard Foley as “the leader of the [Sinn Féin] council grouping”. As with the resignation in Dublin, and in Wexford, the party wants their seat back.. From the BBC report.

In a statement the Sinn Fein group on Strabane District Council said they were “deeply disappointed and saddened at the announcement”. It continued: “While Gerard has not provided the party with any clear rationale for his decision we would nonetheless like to take this opportunity to thank him for his contribution both as a party activist and councillor, and wish him well for the future.” Through the statement the party said they would expect Mr Foley to “honour the Sinn Fein mandate he was elected upon by making way for a party co-option”.

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  • Fair play, mo chara. Hopefully more will see the light. Grassroots community activism in Carlton Drive and Springhill, at the taxpayer’s expense, is more lucrative and principled.

  • Sean

    He should now do the honorable thing and resign his council seat. At the end of the day he was elected on a SF ticket and therefore his election campaign was funded by SF as well as the hard work of SF activists.

  • Yes, well said Sean. This will also give me a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate both my democratic credentials and the level of support for me within the community that I purport to represent.

  • The original Sam Maguire

    “Fair play, mo chara. Hopefully more will see the light. Grassroots community activism in Carlton Drive and Springhill, at the taxpayer’s expense, is more lucrative and principled.
    Posted by Silly Wallagher on Jul 16, 2009 @ 02:05 PM

    Touche 😀

    To be fair, Gaffer wouldn’t be like that. He’s a decent lad and was an effective voice for the Derg ward, particularly Clady and the Glebe, on the council – he may have lost the run of himself a couple of weeks ago suggesting a statue of Mickey Harte at the upcoming GAA centre in Garvaghy but, perhaps, I digress.

    Good luck for the future Gerard

  • redhugh78

    He’ll be back.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Just wondering has any previous councillor/MLA/MP given up their seat and sought re-election when they have left or swiched parties? Yes all the parties call for it when it happens to them, but never when they gain a seat that way, the most blatant case was Jeffrey, Arlene and Nora jumping mere weeks after getting elected, If they dont intend to make it law then stop bringing it up anytime you get stung.

  • Richard Aardvark

    “He should now do the honorable thing and resign his council seat. At the end of the day he was elected on a SF ticket and therefore his election campaign was funded by SF as well as the hard work of SF activists.”

    Like Billy Leonard then?

  • Pat the baker

    [i]Hopefully more will see the light. Grassroots community activism in Carlton Drive and Springhill, at the taxpayer’s expense, is more lucrative and principled. [/i]

    Genius! Not to mention those lucrative jobs on the side, eh?

    Fair play to Gerard for his decision. I know that there are many more senior SF people in Strabane who feel the way he does but, shamefully, lack the courage of their convictions. He’s very well respected out in Derg and within Strabane. I would love to see SF get their just deserts in a by-election for the complacency and treachery which they have recently demonstrated in w.Tyrone.

  • P.S. and related to the issue of SF’s contempt for the community, are we to believe, as Gerry Kelly would like us to, that for the third night in a row dozens upon dozens of people were bussed in by “what are euphemistically known as dissidents” or “microgroups” in order to attack the police in Ardoyne? What a load of sh*te he and the rest of them chat.

  • Stephen

    Pat the Baker – sure didn’t the boul Nelson MccAusland say the same. It must be true. The coach companies are making a fortune!

  • TerryD

    Pat the baker – I’m sure you can find a hundred spides in the Ardoyne, just like you can find them in parts of Derry and elsewhere. Of course, when they’re not liberating Ireland they can usually be found with their blue bags terrorising local residents and declaring their allegiance to Ireland’s saviours at 4am.

    But back to the point, I listened to Cllr Foley on Radio Foyle this morning and am none the wiser as to why he left SF. He doesn’t disagree with policy, doesn’t support any other group, is pro the peace process, hasn’t fallen out with anyone and sniggered when asked if he would join the SDLP.

    If anyone has any light to shed on whether there is anything else?

  • TerryD

    Pat the baker – I’m sure you can find a hundred spides in the Ardoyne, just like you can find them in parts of Derry and elsewhere. Of course, when they’re not liberating Ireland they can usually be found with their blue bags terrorising local residents and declaring their allegiance to Ireland’s saviours at 4am.

    But back to the point, I listened to Cllr Foley on Radio Foyle this morning and am none the wiser as to why he left SF. He doesn’t disagree with policy, doesn’t support any other group, is pro the peace process, hasn’t fallen out with anyone and sniggered when asked if he would join the SDLP.

    If anyone has any light to shed on whether there is anything else?

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘he may have lost the run of himself a couple of weeks ago suggesting a statue of Mickey Harte at the upcoming GAA centre in Garvaghy but, perhaps, I digress.’

    I think the public were annoyed he didn’t go far enough and suggest it should be gold plated 😉

  • [i]I think the public were annoyed he didn’t go far enough and suggest it should be gold plated 😉 [/i]

    Very well said, with said statue to be located alongside one of Brian Dooher.

  • Drumlins Rock

    can you get gold plated stubble?

  • RepublicanStones

    Good point DR, we’ll just have to cellotape a sheet of sandpaper to his jaw !

  • Response to Drumlins rock

    Davy Hyland- Newry and Armagh former MLA, left Sinn Fein but did not regain his seat!

  • Drumlins Rock

    ahh but was that not at the next election? It is one of the oldest debates in Politics, do you vote for a person or a party? personally im old fashioned and say its the person, and if they switch thats up to them, the parties need to condiser that likelyhood when choosing candidates.

    PS, still imagining Mickey Hart standing “carsonesque” on a plinth, think I skip the gold.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    sinn fein has lost a lot of people who have left their party. Many after years and years of membership in sinn fein….I think soon the only ones left will be gerry and martin—

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    I don’t recall sinn fein asking for billy leonard to give up his seat when he left the sdlp. found this little news item from years ago…I remember the big move—-and how sinn fein defended his right to stay on as councilor

    Billy Leonard, former preacher in the protestant Church of the Seventh Day adventists, and with has 5 years service to the RUC on his CV, has left the SDLP, for which he was a councillor, and moved to Sinn Féin, for which he is now the first councillor in overwhelmingly unionist Coleraine, Co Derry

    remember this news headline sinn fein? Now the tables are turned…

  • redhugh78

    Kathy c,
    The tables have turned? eh no, Leonard left the SDLP and joined Sinn Fein, Foley left Sinn Fein and joined no-one, in fact when asked on Radio Foyle if he would join the SDLP, he laughed.

  • The Raven

    I don’t think Kathy is referring to that aspect of the issue, Hugh.

  • fitzy

    rh78,
    it seems that leaving sf and not joining another party would be less risky for sf. if he were to leave for the sdlp, he’d me more inclined to follow new party lines (like billy leonard has). given that he will now be of free and independent thought, and stated that he doesn’t disagree with much of sf’s general line of thinking, this change will likely not make much of an impact… other than one less dupe under sf control.

  • the joxer

    Expect a SF resignation from Down District Council in the next month.

  • reggie

    Expect a SF resignation from Moyle District Council in the next month

  • Kathy C

    Hi redhugh78, it doesn’t matter if Mr. Foley joins another party–what does matter is that he doesn’t have to give up his elected seat because sinn fein wants him to. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Sinn fein was not outraged demanding Mr. Leonard give up his seat because it benefited sinn fein. Now a similiar move… does not benefit sinn fein and they are all outraged. It is rather two faced.

    In the US just recently Senator Lieberman from Conn. left the Democratic Party and became an Independent and he kept his seat…..it’s done all the time in politics. Sinn Fein wants to play politics…yet they whine when they don’t get their way. they were goose gandered.

    Thanks Raven for helpting to clarify my comment.

  • cynic

    I am deeply distreessed and disappointed,. Such is the deskilling of our local communities in Belfast that we cannot even organize a good local riot any more.

    Now it seems that all riots are caused by those from outside the community who often have to be bused in to the chargin of peaceful and law-abiding locals who sit afeared by their TV sets.

    Just who are these rioters who are bused in? Are we now importing Poles or Romanian rioters who can do the job faster and cheaper?

    And look at how the quality has gone down. In Paris on Bastille night they burned 317 cars. In Belfast we managed 1 Water Service Van.

    I fear for the future

  • dunreavynomore

    All parties have individuals who are elected with,at least, a very substantial personal vote just as all parties have individuals who would get damn all votes on a personal basis. Sinn Féin have a few dodgy habits in this area such as getting a well respected republican to stand down after they are elected to allow the party to co-opt another person who would not have pulled the same vote. Camlough, sth Armagh, comes to mind as Breandan Lewis ( known as the wee B)stood down from council once to allow a member of the Murphy clan into electoral politics. When that person moved into higher places Breandan stood again and got elected again but lo and behold he stood down again to allow another Murphy to be co-opted and S.F calls this democracy. Does anyone really think that standing down was Breandan’s personal choice?

  • redhugh78

    Kathy C,
    What would you expect?, you say SF are outraged at Foley for not resigning the seat, where is your evidence for this?
    Of course they are going to ask him to give up the seat it would seem to be a standard response. To suggest they are outraged seems a bit dramatic on your part.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi Redhugh78, this is where we differ…it’s not standard response to have someone give up their elected seat if they switch parties…it’s done all the time around the world and here in the US. The fact that sinn fein expects him to give it up and has stated so…is could be said to be many things such…naive…bully boy tatics…arrogant…desperate. Only time will tell. since sinn fein benefited by Mr. Leonards giving up sdlp party and joing sinn fein and STILL keeping his duly elected seat…and sinn fein didn’t ask or expect him to give it up…if anything else it could perceive to be….it surely shows sinn fein works by two seperate rules. Maybe…that’s a reason the councillor left…Kathy

  • redhugh78

    Kathy C,
    Where is the evidence that SF are outraged?, they said they were ‘disappointed’ naturally enough.
    Furthermore what bully boy tactics have SF engaged in? all they did was wish him good luck and said they expected him to resign his seat as he was elected on a SF mandate.

    What party in their right mind is going to tell an elected councillor who wants to defect to one’s own party,not to do so? a la Billy Leonard, Sure they cry about it when it happens the other way about but hey, that’s politics. You ever hear the saying over egging the pudding?

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi redhugh78,

    Well…outraged by definition means offend, anger, shock, make resentful….so are you stating that sinn fein was not offended by this move of the councillor leaving the party and not giving up his seat… are you saying that sinn fein was not angry that he did this…are you saying that sinn fein wasn’t shocked by his leaving the party and then not giving up his seat?

    from all that I have read…to me it seems that sinn fein was offended, angered, shocked and resentful by his actions. So, if sinn fein wasn’t any of the above…what do you think they were?

    I’ve never heard of over egging the pudding. In the US we don’t put eggs in pudding…unless you’re refering to yorkshire pudding…an english dish….

  • SPADESASPADE

    Possable Gerard just wasn`t prepared to go along with the policing board charade any longer as with many other councillors who now fully grasp that the grassroots see the vail as totaly transparent.