SDLP confirms former Mayor is leaving Derry council…

Former Mayor of Derry city council, Helen Quigley featured prominently in today’s Journal, with the suggestion that she was leaving the council after failing to be considered as a candidate in next years Assembly election.

Update: It seems I have got a number of important details wrong in this story in my unbecoming haste to get it out.  Contrary to my first report last night, Quigley remains an SDLP councillor and will remain such until the local elections next year. Here’s the detail in the Journal story on her exit from politics.

There have rumours of tensions for months within the Foyle constituency, resulting in at least one sitting MLA – Pat Ramsey – failing to gain selection. Having played a crucial role in campaigning for Margaret Ritchie leadership campaign, her departure does not augur well for the internal health of the party.

This follows a pretty heated dispute at Down District Council in which one Ritchie loyalist made what can only be described as an ill-advised and intemperate attack on the councils Green party councillor.

Slugger understands that Donegal man Pol Callaghan – political advisor to Mark Durkan – is the man to watch in Derry.

  • borden

    the man to watch is called Pol Callaghan. The SDLP will still win 3 seats in Foyle.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    In its own way this is more interesting than six of fourteen SF Belfast councillors standing down or being stood down.
    Pól O’Callaghan is actually a very capable guy.
    But Good Politics is like Good Comedy. Its all in the Timing.
    And Ms Quigley….who I am sorry to see go…is maybe two years out of date. Certainly a few short years ago it was generally assumed that she would be on the Assembly ticket in 2011.
    Yet there might be something deeper at work here……generational (as I believe with the SF headline yesterday).
    As an incredibly old person I fear the Future……and Mr O’Callaghan is representative of a new type of “professional politician” who has not done the whole council thing and come from a background of “advisor”. This might actually be a double edged sword.
    Ultimately “new” Labour was top heavy with “advisors” who made it to the top.
    But at this stage there has been no SDLP MLA ever elected who is actually younger than the party he/she represents……there is no elected SDLP MLA born after 1970. At least that will change in 2011.

  • mediilen

    The divisions within the SDLP in Derry have longstanding and were getting deeper, this shafting (as Helen Quigley see’s it) will bring alot of this into the open. Today’s Derry Journal predicted more resignations to come. Helen may also consider standing as an independent on her recor, d of hard work, she would do well in an Assembly election.

  • Barry the Blender

    Isn’t this just a little deja vu?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Actually no……..the SDLP website reports that Ms Quigley is standing down from public life and fully supports the Assembly team in next years election.
    Sinn Féin will of course play up her obvious disappointment at non-selection into something else….just as Sinn Féins Belfast Council thing was played up yesterday by its opponents.
    All part of the hurley burley of political debate.

    Of course many will claim that Ms Quigleys declaration of support falls into the category of “she would say that wouldnt she?” but Im taking it at face value.
    I cant see her running as an Independent.

    Incidently Pat Ramsey MLA was in the news today also. His motion on capping university fees was defeated…..by UUP and DUP. And not enthusiastically supported by Sinn Féin either. Shame.

  • mediilen

    FJH, it being noted well here in Derry in the media and elsewhere that the statement, that you quote is an SDLP party statement not a statement from Helen Quigley herself, she is yet to comment.

    How do you ‘enthusiastically’ support a motion did they vote for or against?

  • White Horse

    I suppose this is down to normal political party values and political ambition. I doubt if it could happen in Sinn Fein though with all those sociopaths directing things in the background. Surely a confusion of fear with loyalty.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The motion by Pat Ramsey on capping tuition fees was voted on. While Sinn Féin pay some lip service to this…..only half of them bothered to turn up to vote.
    As to Ms Quigley…….you will note my observation that I saw this on the SDLP website and I included the caveat that it might fall into “she would say that anyway category”.
    My observations are therefore qualified….reflecting the fact that my knowledge is qualified.
    The original headline noting that “SDLP confirms” that Ms Quigley has left the Party neglected to mention her (alleged support” for Assembly candidates next year. I would submit that an article referring to the Derry Journals stories of SDLP discontent might have includeda reference to the fact that she is still supporting the Party.
    Your own post is somewhat less qualified than mine. As a Derry person you possibly know more than me. I can only speak to the limit of my knowledge with alittle analysis which seems a reasonable one.
    Should Ms Quigley issue a statement repudiating what the SDLP has said on her behalf, I will happily report this as adding to my knowledge and to the basis of the thread.
    And should she issue a statement confirming the basis of the SDLP Press release Im sure you will be just as happy to report it.

  • mediilen

    Normal political ambition or not White Horse this could prove immensely damaging to the SDLP in Derry, Helen Quigley was well liked and was seen as a very hard worker and judging by the local radio phone ins there is a lot of anger over how she was treated.

  • mediilen

    http://www.derryjournal.com/journal/Quigley-set-to-quit-SDLP.6608337.jp

    For your information FJH this was on the front page of this mornings Derry Journal were the reference to more resignations to come appears.

  • White Horse

    Medillen

    “how she was treated” – you are clearly indebted to your imagination for that one. How was she treated?

  • medillen

    A man to watch alright, he has only come to prominence recently and has managed to alienate two party stalwarts, Pat Ramsey and Helen Quigley already, what next?

  • medillen

    Please see ‘source’ material below, she is clearly not happy how she was treated. I am sure we will hear more when she goes public herself.

  • White Horse

    Ah, we might have a story then. ZZZZZ

  • medillen

    Maybe a sociopath confused her loyalty with fear and made his move.

  • White Horse

    Ah, Medillen, Sinn Fein to the bone. You’ll find that nobody in the SDLP strapped Patsy Gillespie into a van.

  • medillen

    Is this your consistant contribution to debate or discussion? White Horse you need to move on, everyone else has, including Patsy’s wife who is participating in a new play about her story, I think its time you followed her example.

  • White Horse

    It’s the first time I mentioned his name. How you make things up! Move on? Yes, there’s a thousand examples of sociopathic behaviour to call on, I suppose.

    In any case, we are given to believe that this noble republican people can never move on if anything happens to their operatives.

  • medillen

    ‘You are given to believe’? maybe it is time that you got into a proper conversation with a republican rather than just through-out insults? It might assist on you moving on a wee bit also.

  • medillen

    apologies for the typo obviously I meant ‘throwing out’ insults

  • Is it coincidence that the main beneficiaries of Helen Quigleys departure are likely to be Paul Callaghan[Mark Durkans office manager] and Mark H Durkan [ nephew of same].Remote control from Westminister ? He hasnt gone away you know!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Im indebted to you but not actually sure how this moves the story forward.
    Mr Fealty has already summarised this is his piece..that Derry Journal reports rumours and speculation about Ms Quigleys immediate future…selection popcedures…..Mr O’Cllaghan and anonymous statements allegedly from SDLP sources. Ms Quigley and SDLP being “unavailable for comment”.
    All of this is the substance of Mr Fealtys piece but Mr Fealty adds the headline that SDLP have confirmed she has left the Party. This clearly advances the story beyond the Derry Journal article you have linked.
    SDLP website does indeed confirm that she has left “public life” and that she supports the SDLP team in the upcoming Assembly elections.
    This moves the story beyond the Derry Journal piece and Mr Fealtys piece.

  • White Horse

    Medillen

    a proper conversation – republicans too easily issue threats when they lose the argument

    How expert you are in defining the sociopathic ideology you adhere to that asks us to move on and forget the victims but never ceases to fail to move on while it honours the killers.

  • medillen

    Should I take that as a no?

  • Drumlins Rock

    maybe when it does happen to them it will be a sign of normal politics?

  • medillen

    FHJ
    Fair enough, see you tomorrow.

  • medillen

    http://www.derryjournal.com/journal/Quigley-confirms-political-exit.6610705.jp

    Helen Quigley decides to stay stuum. But interesting no signal of ongoing support for the SDLP or its press release yesterday. Also being reported on local radio that inside sources that she is very unhappy about how she was treated in the selection process.

  • HoHo

    Apart from anything else, politics is losing yet another capable woman politician. Naomi Long was replaced by a man, Paula Bradshaw got screwed in South Belfast to save McGimpsey’s face and Sheila Davidson and Deirdre Nelson were both treated very badly by Tories.
    BTW, agree with posters who want preview back pleease? It’s too early to be double-checking for typos

  • Cynic

    Do the SDLP also give them wee statuettes when they are turfed out by a faction fight?

  • Cynic

    Is the DUP disease infectious?

  • White Horse

    No story then.

  • medillen

    Maybe not for you but this is a big big story in the SDLPs heartland and its not over yet.

  • Pod

    Where is Pete Baker???????

  • White Horse

    The Irish News suggests that Helen Quigley made her decision because Pat Ramsey was put back on the SDLP ticket, not because of how she was treated.

    Medillen, as an admitted Sinn Feiner, you should stop deluding yourself that anyone believes that you know what is going on in the SDLP heartlands.

  • pam

    Ho Ho

    Polictics didn’t lose another capable woman with Naomis election to Westminster – just sent one to a different place, and in fact her council seat was taken by Laura McNamee, so gave another capable woman an opportunity.

  • pam

    agree with you re Paula though – a loss to South Belfast and the UUP

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Actually Medillen and White Horse are both right…..more or less……..and both wrong more or less.
    The former reports that Ms Quigley is saying nothing. This does not move the story on. He reports accurately what local radio is saying about inside sources. But again that does not move the story on. He is also right that it IS a story.
    White Horse is right about the Irish News. But again it does not move the story on.
    Both seem partisan and one seems intent on making more of the story than there actually is…….and the other intent on making less of the story than there actually is.
    Fair play to both of them.
    Let me just throw something else into the mix. There are other quango-esque gifts on offer. The Derry Port Commissioners includes Mary Bradley MLA. If Ms Bradley steps down Ms Quigley might find herself in that role. And a former Mayor of Derry might be a useful addition to the risible “City of Culture” jamboree.

  • White Horse

    Yes, the SDLP will survive.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Just want to record my appreciation that Mr Fealty has updated the story. He did indeed get a few points wrong but no harm done. A triumph of his ethics over my relunctance to have any (or admit to them) 😉
    Yet there IS a story there. Something bubbling under. Ms Quigley has taken one for the team and it wont go unrewarded.
    Will a MLA who wins in Foyle (Mr Ramsey has been added to the ticket I believe) step down before a full term. Port Authority? City of Culture?
    Ms Quigley …..as is her right…..has had discussions an wont tell us the outcome.
    Mr Durkan holds the door open.
    Gin and tonics all round.

    But I think the Down Council story is actually much more interesting. There is a very public fall out there.

  • dodrade

    Perhaps if Nelson had stayed with the DUP she would have been co-opted into Ian Jr’s Assembly seat by now.

  • White Horse

    The Down story is indeed very interesting.

    How the modern day Pharisees rip open their gowns to parade their public morality. A little jib gives offence to their purity as they defend the nation with sociathic zeal and tell us that they are noble race, a warrior race, with no empathy or heart.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well yes.
    Context is everything.
    Id be surprised if Sinn Féin was overly shocked by “a get back where you came from remark” by a SDLP councillor to a Green (personally I wouldnt even speak to a Green) but it has no place in a council meeting.
    But as SFs entire philosophy is “get back where you came from” its a bit weird that they are annoyed.
    Interesting that the SDLP councillor who made the offensive remark was backed by the UUP/DUP as “banter” and in fairness he apologised though seemingly not as publicly as SF would have liked.
    And then two SDLP councillors get into a wee barney.
    When they reduce the number of councils we will miss this kinda thing.

  • Mark McGregor

    Don’t have a decent enough link (or interest) to blog it but it seems SF’s token Prod/Special/etc Billy Leonard is leaving political life.

    Cathal Ó hOisín to replace him then?

    I assume even if there was an internal issue SF will keep it a lot quieter than the stoops managed.

  • White Horse

    Yes, SDLP passions sometimes spill over into the public domain. I have no problem with that.

    Sinn Fein have a conspiratorial demeanor where secret oaths and average industrial wage carrots and a sprinkling of sociopaths guarding the edges ensures that loyalty is preserved.

    Sorry to see Billy go as he stood and showed up the Shinners for what they are – confused.