Conall McDevitt to replace Carmel Hanna

Conall McDevitt has been selected to replace Carmel Hanna as MLA for South Belfast. Ms. Hanna is standing down in the New Year. Mr McDevitt said his selection was an honour and he paid tribute to Mrs Hanna’s work as an MLA.
“For more than a decade Carmel Hanna has led by example and her record as a hard working representative is unquestionable. It will be a big job to fill her boots but I promise to work tirelessly to build on the strong foundations she has laid and to honour her work and her values by bringing the same dedication she has to the issues which challenge all of our lives.”

  • pete whitcroft

    Well done Conall, have nominations for leader closed?

  • BonarLaw

    Conal to be the shortest serving MLA ever? Assuming, of course, he gets a chance to sign the roll…

  • Congratulations to Conall and best wishes when he takes up his role at the Assembly. But also well done to Bernie Kelly- she would have made an excellent MLA too.

  • slug

    Congratulations to Conal. I think he will make an excellent MLA for the SDLP. Good to see that the SDLP can attract talented, articulate, people.

  • Marty McG

    Conall will have to indentify himself on radio as a prospective SDLP MLA rather than his previous form of being announced as a ‘political commentator’

  • Steaming

    So much for the sdlp being a party of equality well off course it doesn`t apply to women.

    Could the thread get more ludicrous? Without evidence to the contrary, isn’t it most likely that Conall won the nomination on his merits, just as Carmel Hanna held the seat all these years on her merits too?

  • ricky b

    lol..gotta laugh at truth seeker.

    “This will backfire mightily on the sdlp.”

    Ummm….Really? Because you say it will? Or are you going to provide us with a bit of evidence to support this?

    “So much for the sdlp being a party of equality”

    Every member eligable to vote selects candidate – ohh the inequity of it all.

    Two good candidates. Condradulations Conall

  • Only Asking

    Blow ins never really succeed, it’s akin to a conservative standing under the new link up banner. It might work, it might not. He isn’t a household name in NI politics, an unknown face replacing a well known one. Can’t see this doing the stoopers any good.

  • Dave

    42% of UK party candidates lined up to replace the outgoing MPs have a background in PR. It seems that you don’t have to beleive in anything to have a career in British politics anymore but you do need to be good at presenting what you don’t believe in to the general public.

  • Peter Armstrong

    Congratulations to Conall. He has set out what he believes in, he has a very clear vision of how he wants to see the SDLP, and he has a real want to achieve it. I think he is an excellent voice for South Belfast and will work very hard for the constituency and for the SDLP.

    He should also be commended on the work he has done hilighting the crisis in our children’s education system.

  • RepublicanStones

    Conall, congrats.

    Any chance of a brief outline of your groundwork leading up to this nomination?

  • pete whitcroft

    Blow ins never really succeed- Only Asking
    Carmel was a blow in from Warrenpoint, didn’t seem to do her any harm.

    Truth seeker, what is the truth of your identity.

    Wise up both of yiz.

  • pete whitcroft

    I also seek the truth.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Well done Conall.Commiserations to Bernie(there is always a next time).Both these people will ,I have no doubt,a significant part to play in the challenges that lie ahead for us.

  • USA

    Unfortunately I have no knowledge of Carmel Hanna other than name recognition.
    Conall McDevitt however has always struck me as an intelligent and articulate individual who brings a reasoned arguement to the discussion.
    With regard to South Belfast, I think Mr. McDevitt is a good candidate as he will appeal to the large middle class nationalist vote and he will not alienate liberal unionists. He could very well be able to win some transfers.
    Good luck to him, he seems like an informed young man with refreshing consistancy and sincerity in his viewpoint. If I lived in South Belfast I would certainly have no difficulty in voting for him.

  • Jo

    Good luck, Conall. I think you need not be annoyed by the illiterate anonymous voices on this thread.

  • Jo

    From the man’s site:

    “…inequality is also evident on the streets. It fuels the prejudice that boiled over this summer in naked racism. It’s in the flags that are flown every year on the Lisburn and Ormeau roads. It’s on the streets of the City Centre this Christmas and in the internet hate groups”


  • Jack Hynes

    Well Done to Mr McDevitt. Shame on the anonymous nay-sayers on this site who consistently and incessently moan and whinge. It’s pathetic.

  • kathy

    Congrats, Conall. You sounded great on GMU this morning. (and commiserations to Joanne).

    Just from my experience, Conall has a bit of a workaholic steak to him. I can see him doing politics 80 hours plus a week. I think that South Belfaast has just got a good deal. And I know I wouldn’t take a pay cut to go to Stormont (not that for me it would be a pay cut but I can dream of a bigger salary).

    Are you going to bike to work?

  • Brendan,Belfast

    Well done to Conall. Apart from the obvious points that he is young, energetic and articulate, he is also basically a decent fella. So good luck to him – interesting times for the SDLP.

  • “Conal to be the shortest serving MLA ever? Assuming, of course, he gets a chance to sign the roll…”

    Now that comment is worth logging, coming from the sourse it does. Are the Robinsons planning a permanent vacation to Florida in the New Year??

  • slug

    Yeah – the pay is pretty bad and I think Conall is well worth it. He is interested in innovation in ideas and presentation and those things are needed.

    Conall is someone who has had success in other fields but takes a massive massive pay cut – it is good to have MLAs of this type.

    Personally I would never contemplate MLA as a job because it would be frustrating and poorly paid and the colleagues would be depressing.

  • Rory Carr

    Since any exertion of effort has the effect of tiring us somewhat I am always a bit suspicious of those who promise “to work tirelessly” on our behalf as it implies that the speaker isn’t really going to try very hard. Rather the opposite of what is intended.

    Good job he’s not speaking in the U.S.A. where people might assume that he is going to be riding around on his rims all day, sans Good Year and sans Michelin.

  • SDLPYouth Member

    Truth Seeker,

    Your repeated comments show just how little you know about Conall, the SDLP and South Belfast.

    Anyone with even the slightest amount of political wit would know that both Conall and Bernie come from Carmel’s Balmoral Branch and that Carmel herself would be happy if either of the candidates replaced her.

    The leadership contest was not a relevant issue to this selection

  • TerryD

    But it is a fair question. Does anyone know who the MLA elect is supporting in the leadership battle?

  • JoMax

    Expenses 111

    You are the ugliest of ugly Sinn Fein trolls. Don’t you have anything in your sad, pathetic, envious, miserable apology for a Provo lifestyle other than shit-stirring and denigrating other peeple?

    You hate the SDLP, everybody in it and everything decent and honourable that it stands for. So, don’t be shedding your crocodile tears.

  • Dave

    Since when did a standard party hack become a synonym of independent thinking?

    All party hacks are drones, spouting the party line. Their function is not to think for themselves or to offer their own opnions but to allow others to do their thinking for them and to pass on the thinking of others to the plebs who vote for the party.

    Some folks need to pull their blimp heads out of their own (and other) arses. 😉

  • Well done, Conall. There were two good candidates so I am glad I wasn’t making the decision!

  • Claire Hanna

    Well done to Conall, I know he’ll do an excellent job and bring the same energy and political thinking to the constituency as he has brought to our branch over the last two years.

    Congratulations too to Bernie for an excellent campaign – she is an excellent councillor and I’m confident that we’ll see her in Stormont in the future.

    As an active SDLP member in South Belfast I would have been delighted to see either taking the co-option. As it is, both campaigns were cleanly and positively fought and have rejuvenated members over the last few months – it is confidence inspiring to have two strong candidates to choose from, and healthy that there is competition.

    Anyone trying to create the illusion of trouble or splits over this is wide of the mark.

  • David

    From what i can tell Conall has many of the qualities needed to be a successful politician. Tellingly, however, to know him appears to be to dislike him. Fortunately the electorate will not know him.

  • slug

    I must say those who are making negative ad hominem comments reveal more about themselves than they do about the excellent Conall.

  • nemesis

    Conall, post your intvw on gmu this morning do yourself a favour and stop referring to NI as ‘da North’. it’s a sure fire way to alienate every unionist in the country. the GFA and StA Agt don’t mention ‘da North’ but refer to Northern Ireland. if you want to build bridges with prods, don’t add to the problem you have with your accent by ignoring the existence of the border…….oh and ignore the negative s*9te on this blog from shinners and other jealous tossers.

  • … ignore the negative s*9te on this blog from …

    But what about: … don’t add to the problem you have with your accent … . What is that if not ad hominem prejudice?

    You say more than enough about yourself, nemesis, with crap like that. Why should anyone listen to your advice when you clearly don’t follow it yourself, and are clearly imbued with, to be polite, negative feelings towards your fellow Irishmen?

  • Joesph

    Nemesis > Conall was born in Dublin. What have you got against his accent? Do you want him to fake a northern accent to please you?

    Also, what’s wrong with him using ‘da North’? He doesn’t do it to annoy anyone. You just get annoyed at the term for your own sectarian reasons. It’s the same as an English or Scottish person referring to ‘da North’. It’s got nothing to do with the Irish border.

  • Rory Carr


    You should also be aware that to refer to McDevitt as “the excellent Conall” is also an ad hominem remark.

    It is of course a positive one but by kicking that particular ball, I’m afraid, you exclude yourself from having any moral authority to critcise the negative ones.

  • Rory Carr


    I think that your remark about Conall McDevitt, “Tellingly, to know him is to dislike him” is uncalled for; particularly as it discriminates against people like me who dislike the fellow entirely without ever having clapped eyes upon him.

    p.s. In the interests of fairness and full disclosure I should add that I also intensely dislike Sir Cliff Richard without ever having wittingly been in the same county as him at any given time.

  • Anna McA

    Oh look another troll. “Margaret Ritchie’s Worst enemy” do us all a favour and crawl back into the hole you came out of. How dare you come out with such ridiculous rubbish, completely unfounded and more baseless.
    Hiding behind your mask and spouting lies is very courageous. Put your money where your mouth is and tell us all what you are saying.

    Mick do us all a favour and remove that post. Better yet, remove the troll.

  • J Kelly

    Can someone answer me a simple question, who was big al backing for the seat?


    Long time observers will know that I’ve been following this story for a few years now.

    Now that it has concluded, all I can say is well done Conall – you played a blinder.

    I may not always agree with CMD’s politics, but I recognise and admire a top class operator when I see one. I assume he’s also making a pretty hefty financial sacrifice to take this one on, so that also marks him out as one of the best motivated people up there.

    To those who have been tripping over themselves to come up with insults and silly theories about splits, get a life. There’s nothing more unattractive than anonymous nobodies having a go at somebody who has done nothing more than put their head above the parapet.

    Once again, well done.

    And good luck.

  • Captain Bufton-Tufton

    My sole observation on this matter: if Connall McDevitt were chocolate, he’d eat himself…..

    That Bernie Kelly was passed over for this man is a damning indictment of the SDLP.

    Either she or Pat McCarthy would have been better. All style no substance wins through again. A mistake.

  • Greenflag

    Captain Bufton-Tufton

    Don’t you mean Capt Buffoon 😉

    ‘ All style no substance wins through again. A mistake.’

    Welcome to politics late 20th and 21st century . Ye see it all went downhill when they gave the weemen folk the vote . A bigga da mistake .You just can’t elect badly dressed unstylish ugly middle aged men these days except maybe in Northern Ireland where lets face it there is a surfeit of the latter. So you should look on the election of style over substance as an ‘advance ‘ admittedly only in local NI terms .

    As for substance I’m afraid the jury is out on the benefits of ‘substance’ to making advances in the politics of Northern Ireland . The now proverbial ‘men of substance ‘ who led the UUP to continuing victories 1920 through 1972 are now seen to have been too full of substance of the waistline avoirdupois form but not a whole lot of substance in the top story . Shure isn’t that why the province is a cretinous political mess that does’nt know where it is or where it’s going much less why ;(?

    Oh and good luck to Conall anyway -he’ll need it what with the Assembly in collapsing mode .

  • Mr Hooper

    Nothing happening here………. A man (yes, just a man – not a saviour or god) has been appointed by a party in decline that will decline further, even with him as a MLA, to a point where they are irrelevant, if that tipping point has not already been reached.

    The cult like adoration by CMD “disciples” is bizzare and quite worrying. Only a parent or a wife should be that besotted!! Honestly, get out more.

  • fin

    Why do I think the SDLP won’t be Conalls final resting place, would UCUNF candidate for Westminister in 5 years be a step too far or maybe FF.

  • paddy

    conals looking after a good pension just like all the other scroats then heel leg it back to dublin join ff collect another pension he must think people in belfast are buttoned up the back hes jumping on the grave train ys he jst not say it

  • truth seeker

    Now my comments are being removed!!!!

    Typical of this over inflated gutter site!

    Anyway Bernie continues to have the majority of support not only from those on the ground but those voters who will not take kindly to a hard working councillor being replaced by a blow in.

    Censor that.

    Coinal will not regain this seat, spin spin and spin that.

  • Mick Fealty

    You’re a troll ts/e111. Multiple personalities or not, follow the site rules and behave yourself.

  • Mick Fealty

    Listen guys, I don’t want to button down dissent on this or any other thread, but there is only one troll there E111 and and truth seeker are showing up as one and the same. Another lonely guy keeping himself company. He keeps switching IPs so it’s hard to keep him at bay. But he needs hammering every time he shows. Drop me a line if you can.


    Who have you got tucked up your sleeve who will take the seat from Conall then?

  • IJP

    I think Conall is precisely the sort of politician we need at Stormont.

    That said, I think Bernie is too!

    Conall’s business background, understanding of presentation and new ideas will, I hope, find room to breathe in his new role – not just within his party, but more broadly. From what I can see, Stormont badly needs it.

    I hope this is the beginning of the transfer to a new type of politics, which is more interested in governing rather than politicking.

  • DC

    I think Conall is a sound candidate too. I think he’d make a better leader than both Ritchie and McDonnell put together; but who I’m I to have an opinion 😉

  • Only Asking

    Everyone is talking about this new type of politics, but face it after the next election can the exchequer afford devoloution? Considering what central government gives it can take away, I read tonight that we may be required to pay for the use of Libraries, and even street lighting could be rationed. Scary stories maybe, but Britain is in a deep recession, its the only one of the G 20 group of industrial nations still in recession, and if it loses its triple AAA rating things could slump further. In that scenario after the next election 108 arseholes up on the hill are a tad too many. The numbers will surely be cut if not the whole thing?

  • Expenses111

    Is Conall only a new MLA? How can he alone bring a new type of politics to Northern Ireland? I wonder is he pushing for the leader or deputy leader role?

    Another point why should someone get in as an MLA unelected?

  • Danny O’Connor

    expenses 111
    They are nominated by their party,in this way the constituency balance is maintained,eg, with Francie Brolly retiring in East Derry-a nationalist would not be elected to replace him,so under the current system Billy Leonard has been nominated by SF as his successor thus ensuring that the constituency balance remains the way the people voted at the last election.

  • Expenses111


    Fair enough. I suppose it is cheaper than a by election. I would laugh if the 2 people selected never actually got to being an MLA. It seems that we are on a collision course at Stormont. It appears that nothing has been agreed. Conall’s new age of politics will never be found out!!

    Just on another thought do you get Jim Fitzpatrick’s email on a Friday?

  • Danny O’Connor

    E 111
    No,dont believe all of what you see and hear.Where else would most of these people get a job paying like it.If the Dup fail Allister will be saying I told you so,SF will have the dissidents saying the same.They have no plan B.
    Direct rule is the only other option,which is exactly Allister’s position.

  • Danny O’Connor

    E 111
    No,dont believe all of what you see and hear.Where else would most of these people get a job paying like it.If the Dup fail Allister will be saying I told you so,SF will have the dissidents saying the same.They have no plan B.
    Direct rule is the only other option,which is exactly Allister’s position.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Sorry about the double post.

  • fleetwood fat

    Sorry if this has appeared in the past, but is that Danny O’Connor of the sdlp fame in Larne?
    If so, can I ask why you are not running in East Antrim. Surely an opportunity to profile yourself before the Glens populas before the assembly elections in 2011.