“I don’t know if Sinn Féin has the ability to deliver in that way.”

Independent MLA Gerry McHugh’s membership of Fianna Fáil was noted yesterday, although the party itself seemed somewhat surprised. From the Irish Times

The party denied it now had “an elected representative in the Northern Assembly”. It added: “Fianna Fáil headquarters had not had any discussions with Mr McHugh concerning his membership of Fianna Fáil and he does not represent Fianna Fáil in the Northern Assembly.” The party statement concluded: “Fianna Fáil has no plans, at this stage, to be represented at elected-office level in Northern Ireland.” Mr McHugh had been unavailable for comment on the issue on [Monday] night, hours before the story broke. However, yesterday he described his new position as “an Independent who is in Fianna Fáil” rather than a Fianna Fáil member of the Assembly. “I’m not under the whip of any party and that is a massive difference,” he said.

In the Irish News, other anonymous “party sources” are predicting that 2 Sinn Féin and 4 SDLP councillors will join Fianna Fáil by February next year. Below the fold, Gerry McHugh explains his decision in a recorded interview on UTV Live Tonight. Video will autoplay.Gerry McHugh explains his decision to join Fianna Fáil.

Video courtesy of UTV

, , , ,

  • Judging from the opinion polls in the south, the NI Assembly seems to be the only place they have any hope of gaining any extra representation.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Sometimes I’ve amused myself by baiting the more wistful northern nationalists who’ve kidded themselves that there’s some great Southern desire to see the Free State lumbered with them, let alone with us. After the Soldiers of Destiny now making my case for me, far more painfully than any way I could ever contrive, it’s I suppose, a relief that I’ll never need to do this again.

    But one last shake, just for old time’s sake: the people of the Irish Republic, and their entirely representative politicians, no more want northern nationalists, let alone northern unionists, to be part of their state than they, oh, want to see the Tricolour replaced as its flag with a polaroid of especially unhappy genital warts.

  • [i]But one last shake, just for old time’s sake: the people of the Irish Republic, and their entirely representative politicians, no more want northern nationalists, let alone northern unionists, to be part of their state than they, oh, want to see the Tricolour replaced as its flag with a polaroid of especially unhappy genital warts. [/i]

    Sure. Keep saying it until you believe it.

    But one last shake, just for old time’s sake: the people of Great Britain, and their entirely representative politicians, no more want northern unionists, let alone northern nationalists, to be part of their state than they, oh, want to see the Union Jack replaced as its flag with a polaroid of especially unhappy genital warts.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Can’t help but feel that FF missed a trick by not standing in the last European elections. Abstentionism wouldn’t have been an issue as it will be in the case of Westminster elections. There was only one Nationalist seat to be won and so there would have been no sense of failure when they failed to dislodge de Brún at the first attempt. It was a great chance to measure potential support and establish just how banjaxed the SDLP is – and all that while avoiding credible accusations of vote-splitting.

    As it is I’m still baffled by what FF have to gain in all this or just what their strategy is. They have stated that Westminster elections are a no-no but (if it’s really a matter of either the SDLP or FF) can they really afford to give their rivals a free hand? Strange days indeed.

  • slug

    He wants to see a United Ireland “on this island”.

    Glad the location of it makes sense.

  • Frank Brebin

    Nothing to see here! The clowns involved at local level in Fermanagh must be loving all this attention but i can assure you if they fell into a barrell of tits they’d come out suckin their thumbs!!

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Em.

    This is Classic FF distraction technique. It is probably the one thing they are good at.

    When FF are in deep stuck they wave that Tri-colour and come over all republican.

    Older wiser heads have seen and heard it all before.

  • eric

    “Can’t help but feel that FF missed a trick by not standing in the last European elections”.

    Who would have canvassed for them? Sinn Fein and the SDLP are in different Euro parties.

    Fianna Fail has just joined the centrist European Liberals (ELDR). The Alliance Party is in the ELDR – perhaps a joint FF/Alliance candidate in the 2014 Euro elections? I think FF will have to build their own base in the North first and then see whether the SDLP or someone else wants to join with them in a Euro election

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Whatever you say, Gushers: you be happy with the straining, abundant desire of Free Staters to lay their hands on northenr nationalists. I’ll stick with the Union, cheers!

  • Gushing condescending sanctimony

    [i]..you be happy with the straining, abundant desire of Free Staters [/i](sic)[i] to lay their hands on northenr[/i] (sic) [i]nationalists.[/i]

    When did I, or anyone else, claim that? You can add hyperbolic hyperbole to your seemingly endless list of dazzling talents.

  • slug

    His main point is a good one – given how negatively the IRA campaign was received in the broad unionist community (to put it mildly), how can the cause of a united Ireland be advanced by SF when they are led by the top IRA leaders who (i) lie about this fact as in the case of Adams or (ii) are unapologetic about it as in the case of McGuinness?

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    ‘Seemingly endless list of dazzling talents’ – you can even, certainly by way of comparison, add in a titter of wit too. But well done with those sics! Yet again I say to the Cat: leave the 11+ well alone!

  • Sean

    Slug

    (i) You have proof to back up this allegation

    (ii) He probably does not feel that what he has done was wrong and therefor does not feel the need to appologize and it would be disengenuous for him to do so

  • slug

    Sean: LOL on both counts.

  • Pete:

    Video autoplaying is very annoying when you’re refreshing the page to catch up on the latest comments.

  • fair_deal

    “You have proof to back up this allegation”

    How about a photo of him in a Provo honour guard and the testimony of a former PIRA Chief of Staff?

    3.10secs in

  • Pete Baker

    Andrew

    I’ve already made that point to UTV and they have their development team working on it.

  • Gushing condescending sanctimony

    [i]leave the 11+ well alone! [/i]

    Hear, hear.

  • hopeful but doubtful

    Perhaps we’ll see a day when the Conservatives go into coalition with Fine Gael to form the Northern Irish government.

    That may sound a little out-there, but politically it makes a damn lot more sense than all the prods and taigs working within their tribes to keep the ‘other side’ out.

  • John East Belfast

    Can someone who speaks for FF advise what their definition of the 1969 to 1999 PIRA campaign is now ?

    Armed Struggle as I assume it would be to their new member McHugh

    or

    Terrorist campaign executed by criminals which would be the publicly stated position of FF previously

  • slug

    JEB

    I am sure that FF’s idological position on that question, just as on all questions where one has to come off a fence, will be crystal clear. Not.

  • eric

    Unlike Fine Gael (who tended to have more Redmondite and ex-Unionist tendencies) Fianna Fail tended to be in parts ambivalent about PIRA. While Fine Gael was fanatically devoted to the institutions of the 26 county state – its army and police giving them a hatred of SF/IRA that would make many a Unionist blush, Fianna Fail prefared the Four Green Fields romanticism of Sinn Fein. Indeed you might well look at PIRA & PSF being to Fianna Fail, what the Trotskyest militant tendency was to the Labour Party.

    The Blaney Independent Fianna Fail organisation in Donegal was recently re-ingetrated into the Fianna Fail family. It was a halfway house between SF & FF.

    The Irish Labour Party since its merger with Democratic Left (formerly Worker’s Party & OIRA)ten years ago has had two party leaders from that organisation. Prionsias De Rossa former Labour Party President was welcomed to the UUP HQ in the 1990s and he had been in the IRA during the border campaign in the 50s.

    People move on from paramiltarism. Better that Gerry McHugh has made a break with the Provo Heritage of Sinn Fein rather than spinning like Gerry Adams claiming that Sinn Fein’s present stance and peace process is part of a cogent narrative with the Provo war.

    Its a pity more people could not leave their paramilitary past behind them. That said over time it will happen.

    I liked that post from yesterday “Sinn Fein is Fianna Fail for slow learners”

  • Erasmus

    Sometimes I’ve amused myself by baiting the more wistful northern nationalists who’ve kidded themselves that there’s some great Southern desire to see the Free State lumbered with them, let alone with us. After the Soldiers of Destiny now making my case for me, far more painfully than any way I could ever contrive, it’s I suppose, a relief that I’ll never need to do this again.

    But one last shake, just for old time’s sake: the people of the Irish Republic, and their entirely representative politicians, no more want northern nationalists, let alone northern unionists, to be part of their state than they, oh, want to see the Tricolour replaced as its flag with a polaroid of especially unhappy genital warts.
    Speaking as one of ‘the people of the Irish Republic’ I have to tell you that this is completely erroneous.

  • Speaking as one of ‘the people of the Irish Republic’ I have to tell you that this is completely erroneous.

    Largely erroneous, perhaps. Completely? Come off it.

  • Aha, the video applet remembers the volume setting across reloads.

  • eric

    “Largely erroneous, perhaps. Completely? Come off it. ”

    True there is a large partitionist constituency in the Republic. Fine Gael would get massive support from it, however some of the Labour and Fianna Fail support base would also come from this section of the populace.

    Fianna Fail will get a niche here and Sinn Fein and the SDLP’s difficulties will contribute to that. Labour will like its British sister party support a Social Democratic party in NI and Fine Gael will support keeping the status quo.

    Some change, but not a radical transformation either

  • slug

    If this can (say by diminishing the SDLP?) facilitate a Labour party option in NI then its certainly to be good.

  • i wonder

    Alistair Darling loses EU fight over fiscal sovereignty
    Telegraph.co.uk – Bruno Waterfield – ‎1 hour ago‎
    Alistair Darling on Wednesday made a major concession weakening Britain’s power to block new European Union financial regulators from taking decisions that could result in a bill for the taxpayer.
    deeedlededum deeedlededum hiya dumdeededodaadaee
    its the great bigggg EU for mee.I say welcome most welcome fine immigrants in great numbers loads of room.Thank god we wont just have to listen to the shinners and the dupers it has become very very boring. Poor old Mick he wants to keep it all going get a wee living try out new words great.Come on the developers loads of second rate developments needed.There is a rumer that the robinsons are building a small gated community for family only very muslim cannot fault them its their money.Up the EU.

    Submit the word Study thats it study new customs brill orange marches boring paddies day boring notting hill carnival ever seen it its brill.

  • igor

    If Fianna Fail is contesting elections in de North in opposition to the Shinners, how can the Irish Governmnet now be seen as an ‘honest broker’

  • At some point politics in NI has to move beyond the need for ‘honest brokers’ from outside and deal with its own problems in a mature manner.

  • Nollaig a chara

    I don’t understand how someone in Sinn Fein would go join FF, in terms of politics alone thats a serious switch in policy from left to right ….

  • Pete Baker

    Andrew

    We can now disable autoplay on the UTV clips.

    As I’ve done on this post.