Donegal South West: Emergence of Sinn Fein Nua?

Now whilst Donegal is not Ireland, for Sinn Fein this byelection victory has the potential to become a game-changing moment. They now have one of those two predicted Donegal seats.  In fact, Aidan Kavanagh’s Red C extrapolations underestimated Sinn Fein’s appeal to the Donegal South West electorate and exaggerated the strength of the mainstream parties.

Pearse Doherty grabbed 40% of all first preferences, and 60% of all first and second preferences, something that’s previously been unheard of in the politics of the Republic. An significant cultural barrier has been breached. Doherty has shipped in votes from parts of south and west Donegal that barely voted Sinn Fein before.

But there are couple of things worth noting. One is that unusually for an Irish election, this one was clinched through an air war rather than on-the-ground. Usually during an general election candidates get very little access to the media, and the doorstep is crucial. But this roster of candidates got the full exposure of the press. And Doherty came in head and shoulders above the rest.

Now this is not surprising as it first may seem. As well as being young, personable and relatively (for a politician) economically literate, this was the candidate’s third bite of the Donegal electoral cherry. He’d nearly broken through in the 2004 Euros, and in the last general election. By contrast the others were relative ingenues.

As for the other parties, all day political journalists have been firefighting political spin. Labour was an easy target, not because they’d done badly (they pretty much trebled their vote), but because they’d been guilty of overplaying a hand which simply does not run as far as Donegal and suggesting they’d get between 15-20k, making their otherwise respectable 10k look derisory.

The so-called Gilmore Gale trifurcated and blew Doherty, Pringle and McBrearty a whole new bunch of fresh voters in what is normally an incredibly small ‘c’ conservative constituency.

Ironically, and on balance, the other marginal winner in this is probably Fine Gael. In 2007, the party veteran Dinny McGinley reversed his plans for retirement when it became obvious that without him standing Doherty would takeover his strongly loyal voter base in the western Gaeltacht area, losing the seat for the party for the foreseeable future.

Ballyshannon Councillor Barry O’Neill was probably the least known of all the candidates, and managed to run in in second place (if only by 100 or so votes). While they’ll almost certainly run McGinley again in February, O’Neill has demonstrated there remains a significant base for the party to build upon.

As for Fianna Fail, well they’d already discounted the loss of Pat the Cope’s seat. Keeping a quote for Tanaiste Mary Coughlan was the aim here. Coming in second in first preferences at a time when the country is going through its most traumatic period for generations is most certainly job jobbed. The priority between now and the general election will be asset preservation right across the state.

So back to the question currently in hand, will this give Sinn Fein a bounce in a February/March General Election?

Well, it certainly does a couple things that should benefit the party. Doherty is a class act compared to the rest of the parliamentary party, and it will take down their average age by a decade or two. That may also improve the appeal of the party to a newer younger audience.

If there are to be any signs of momentum in the General Election keep an eye out for hard fought breakthroughs in Dublin (where Labour are currently strong), Cork, Meath West, and on a really good day, Mayo. There’s always a possibility too that Toireasa Ferris might be prevailed upon to run in Kerry North.

Yet this is not the critical election. Beefing up the parliamentary team and building its plausibility to a wider electorate is the major job in hand.  Come the next term, they may be the only party to share the opposition benches with Fianna Fail (for the first time since Dev’s early, more tolerant, days), which may explain some of the complementary noises that began emanating from Minister Éamon Ó Cuív this afternoon.

That would give them a clear position from which to attack anything the new government does. And it may give them time to find the answer of how they get beyond the narrow corridor that all minority parties have found themselves in and into the real halls of political power in Ireland over the last 25 years. But for that they will need more than good candidates.

Yet the key insight from Darwin’s evolutionary theory is not that fittest or the strongest survive, but those who prove most adaptable to the demands of the ever evolving world around them.  Sinn Fein need to develop a party wide commitment to playing the new game in town: the constitutional politics of the Republic of Ireland.

It remains to be seen whether the old leadership, steeped as it is in the revolutionary politics of west Belfast, is adaptable enough to fulfill the reasonable demands of a successful generation of new southern Sinn Fein politicians.

They will not be as easy to replace as the member for West Belfast.

, , , , , , ,

  • third alias

    Hi Sammy / Mod Unionist!

  • pippakin

    Mark

    I agree young people don’t care about the past and nor should they, SF are right to concentrate on the future but they are a long way from home free.

    There are unsolved crimes that have nothing to do with the GFA and Gerry Adams does not appear to be extricating himself with anything like the dexterity of Martin McGuinness, and the problem with that is the north has MMcG while we may get GA who was never in the IRA and had no idea of his brothers connection to SF in the south.

    Its obvious by now that there are not many people in the south who share the north’s republican giggles at blatant lies. If we want that we can stick with FF.

  • pippakin

    Paul Evans

    Is SF a populist party? how on earth did someone as well read and intelligent as your good self get that idea. or did I miss the hand of friendship in all the blood and semtex.

  • Seamus Rua

    There was an element of protest vote but Pearse Doherty is a very fine candidate who really puts the work in.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But Mark, yesterday’s (?) voilence CAN be linked to current members of SF. So those of us who don’t care for SF have every reason not to care for them.

    And why would’nt the Fianna Fail vote go to Sinn Fein? The latter are simply a younger version of the former, and have already set out on the same path.

    Once SF quit celebrating mass murderers and serial killers I’ll be prepared to give them my vote.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I agree, you’re quite right on this point. Enough time has passed since the Troubles for a new generation to grow up without images of the latest IRA bombing or shooting on the TV each week. That means the emerging voters may have a more tolerant attitude to voting SF because they don’t associate it with a refusal to condemm IRA actions.

    What will continue to trip up the party, for a very long time to come, is invovlement of its members in such crimes. And I’m not talking about incidents from the 70’s and 80’s, but uncomfortably recent ones such as the killings of MacCarthney, Quinn, and sexual abuse by, or overlooked by, party members.

    History beckons. But the future, or the past?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Christ, I hope not! FF don’t deserve to be in government again till virtually all the current crop are retired and the new ones have a great deal more sence of duty towards their country, not to being in power.

    It would be nice if something truely new came out of the coming vacum of FF votes, something linked to none of the present parties but planted firmly in 21st century Ireland. Too much of what passes for politics here has its roots in the 19th century.

  • pippakin

    Cormac Mac Art

    Yes and if any of the outstanding issues blew up (unconscious association of thought) just before or during an election it is hard to see how SF could overcome it.

  • Archie Noble

    No doubt SF will be subject to a sustained media attack in the run up to the election. In fairness that is surely nothing new. The question is will those attacks be credible? I think two things mitigate against that being so, firstly those making the attacks have credibility problems of their own, secondly its all old news. In the context of Ireland’s economic woes it won’t be much of an issue.

  • Cormac mac Art

    Nor will moving candidates from NI to Ireland be of much help. SF need to get candidates native to the electoral areas concerned. Otherwise all they achieve is dividing their strenths. SF have to become a party of Ireland, not one with a leadership and electoral base situated in another country.

  • Cormac mac Art

    Good point, but it is the same ‘old news’ that played a part in SF’s failure to gain more seats in Ireland, so it really is an unresolved problem. In order to become a real player in the state, SF will simply have to jettiston much of the northern baggage and create a new identity down here.

  • Cormac mac Art

    Really? How so?

  • “Aidan Kavanagh’s Red C extrapolations underestimated Sinn Fein’s appeal to the Donegal South West electorate and exaggerated the strength of the mainstream parties.”

    I think that’s a bit simplistic. Within the paramaters of the small number surveyed (there’s a 5% margin of error, and only 95% confidence levels) the Red C poll didn’t do too badly. And keep in mind that the poll isn’t a predictor. It represents voting intentions at the time of the survey, not a week later. Campaigns change peoples minds.

    The poll itself may have persuaded protest voters to back the leading protest candidate, causing voters to shift from McBrearty and O’Neill to Doherty, for example. And it probably didn’t help that O’Neill was a weak candidate and McBrearty effectively said the byelection didn’t matter once the Greens announced they were pulling the plug in January.

    SF are probably on course for two Donegal seats in the GE, and may hope for 10-12 in total. What will be interesting though is what lessons Labour learn. There’s a vote out there waiting for them, but they have poor organisation and unknown candidates in much of the country.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Blair:

    I’ve seen how they treat unionists when they get the chance, and it has made me fairly determined to ensure that they don’t get their way.

    I’ve seen how they treat unionists as well. Two specific examples spring to mind, such as the construction of the Boyne commemoration site, and decision by the Irish government to point the finger at SF and the IRA following the Northern Bank robbery. Damn Provo collaborators.

  • Cormac mac Art

    For myself I think SF are far too preoccupied with the concept of a UI. They really need to break new ground if they are to become real players in Ireland.

    Do you think it is an outdated concept that has been left behind by political develoopments of the past several decades? Or why it should matter so much more to the Irish of Northern Ireland than it does to the Irish of Ireland?

  • Comrade Stalin

    No election is completely predictable but you can make a few assumptions. It would be interesting to see where SF’s target seats will be and what sort of result could be obtained if SF were able to repeat the remarkable swing they just managed to obtain in Donegal, or if they even managed to repeat some reasonable fraction of that swing.

    Also interesting would be to see which seats FF are likely to retain. There are obviously seats that will remain FF regardless.

    I’d say SF and Labour will certainly run on a “renegotiate the deal” platform. I don’t think putting FF back in any ministerial post will be acceptable to anyone, and if FF know what is good for them (they probably don’t) they’d want to spend a couple of years in opposition to get things straight.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The trouble is that a dearth of talent doesn’t stop a party being successful in politically volatile times. It’s helpful to look at what happened to the BNP – they got a whole bunch of knuckleheads elected to Barking & Dagenham on the basis of a protest vote. Interestingly they lost every single one of those seats, repeating a pattern seen elsewhere in Europe whereby extremist nationalists make rapid gains followed by rapid losses when people realize how incompetent they actually are in office.

    (I don’t regard SF as being far-right or equivalent to the BNP, except in the broadest possible sense of being politicians driven by nationalist aspiration with little else to bring to the table)

  • Comrade Stalin

    Jesus, I thought Sammy was delusional.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The reason so many Irish people despise Sinn Fein is because they are a party that went to war against the state in 1922

    Er, aren’t you talking about Fianna Fail, who have managed to provide every President (but one) and have formed the government in 21 out of the total of 24 elected governments (excluding changes which occurred in coalitions between elections) since they were founded in 1934 ?

  • Seamus Rua

    “SF have to become a party of Ireland, not one with a leadership and electoral base situated in another country.”

    I dont think that SF have a hope iin attracting votes from hardline free staters and partitionists but in fairness, i dontthink they will try.

    I think views such as yours, in my view extreme, are not rare but are not a very common view across Ireland.

    And surely, SF exist to oppose such views, not to give into them

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    When will people start to realise that opinion polls are meaningless. Its only a matter of time before some Sluggerite thinks the Red C poll was actually the real result and the actual election was harmless fun.
    Opinion polls are after all the opinions of people who are too stupid to get out of the way of an eejit with a clipboard. Why on earth should we pay attention to them?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I can include them under the banner SF 1922 if you like, as they did not become a seperate party till 1926.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    What, exactly, is extreme about my views?

  • “Populist parties tend to get a bit of a tough time wherever people wot have read buks hang out. Populist parties sometimes succeed electorally. Bears sometimes shite in the woods.”

    Paul Evans

    What arrogant stupid nonsense, Thatchers Tory party could be termed populist, as to could New Labour before Blair poisoned the well with the Iraq war; both were kept in office by overwhelming middle class support. I suppose the best example of a populist party was Hitlers NAZI party. An organisation which was supported by middle class professionals and big business in droves, most of whom I presume had read a fair number of books, if my memory serves me, the great leader even wrote one with the help of a graduate from one of Germanys ‘better’ universities.

    Indeed one does not even have to leave Ireland’s shore to understand this, for the DUP could be described as a populist party, perhaps you would remind me which social class forms its bedrock?

    You really should read the odd book, rather than hysterical crap based on class prejudices.
    ————

    What amazes me about some of the regulars here, despite the recent crash, they still hate (and fear) SF, more than they do the southern political elite, who turned the Nations economy over to a small group of reckless and corrupt individuals in the finance industry.

    Yet none of this matters if an opportunity arises to kick SF.

  • MichaelMac

    Having just witnessed the efforts put forward by the main opposition parties, Barry and Frank, talk of a dearth of talent is almost amusing.
    Try and deal with the actual facts, Doherty had to lecture the other two on the economic situation.

  • MichaelMac

    For decades SF were urged to move on. Now that they have their detractors now realise that they have nothing to say except anti SF bile. They appear desperate for things to go back the way they were pre 1997.

  • Nunoftheabove

    The self-pity is truly Clinton-esque. The fact is, your SF policies offer no real hpe to the peope of the south – it’s tepid, empty yesteryear nationalism combined with primary school economics not rooted in a credible understanding either of economics or even in an identifable idealogical base.

    It’s a lame narrow northern catholic party (it can no longer even be described as a movement) with little to offer to the electorate in the south – either get yourself a credible party programme or get over the childish self-sorrow.

  • it’s tepid, empty yesteryear nationalism combined with primary school economics not rooted in a credible understanding either of economics or even in an identifable idealogical base.

    NOTA

    I suppose the masters of the universe who have been running the Irish economy to date have a total understanding of economic matters. What you really mean if anyone does not sing from their song-sheet they must be totally off key.

    Come on mate, look out the window, remember back a few months, when these very people said the cuts they were about to make, would be harsh, but would solve the whole problem and put the Irish economy on the road to sucsess..

    What you seem to be saying is these people know what they are doing, how can they when today’s money market is based on the spin of the roulette wheel, there is nothing scientific about that. Especially if you remember the very people whose hand is on the spin, are those who will gain the most from an IMF loan. Talk about socialism for the rich.

    You are in white coat land when you cry Adams and co; (who had nothing to do with bringing about the economic disaster) know nothing about economics. In comparison with whom I ask?

    There is an argument to be made against SF, but saying their knowledge of economics is primary school stuff, just places them in the same boat as Ireland political and business elite.

    Although to SFs credit they have no wish to fleece the less well off whilst ring fencing the wealthy’s ill gotten s gains.

  • Archie Noble

    “The self-pity is truly Clinton-esque. The fact is, your SF policies offer no real hpe to the peope of the south – it’s tepid, empty yesteryear nationalism combined with primary school economics not rooted in a credible understanding either of economics or even in an identifable idealogical base.”

    Nun, You have done this one. You have been given the links to the SF Economic Strategy. If you read them and then tell us why they won’t work we can have a conversation. Otherwise, sorry and all, its just noise because you do not like SF.

  • Jean Meslier

    They don’t like it up ’em corporal Jones.
    They don’t like it up ’em

    Where’s peteb?
    where’s peteb?

  • Alias

    The Shinnerphiles wishful thinking that this win for Doherty translates into the redemption of the Shinners in Ireland is akin to a battered wife thinking that a kiss on the cheek from her abusing husband the morning after he has given her two black eyes means that they’ll live happily ever-after after all…

    Mostly, the transfers came to them because of what they are not rather than what they are (i.e. they’re not FF or FG) so it’s a mainly protest vote. That said, some of those protest voters won’t be going back to FF so there is a vacancy for a new nationalist party that will more than likely be filled in due course by the emergence of one but if it isn’t then there is room there for the Shinners to move closer the conservative centre, abandoning further their deluded ‘socialist’ supporters since that mountain won’t be moving toward Mohamed. Socialist, as far as the Irish are concerned, simply means looking after the less well off in a capitalist state.

    Where would the transfers come to the Shinners because of what they are? A failed murder gang that now is well-paid to promote British national interests? Hardly. They don’t have a policy that isn’t disposal or a principle that they haven’t already disposed of.

    At most, they’re looking at maybe 15 or 16 seats but as far as I am concerned that’s 15 or 16 less Europhiles…

  • redhugh78

    Another country? lol.

  • Mick Fealty

    Different poll Gerard. Aidan’s done a couple of constituency adaptations of national polls to all Dail constituencies. Agree with the rest of what you say though.

  • redhugh78

    Burning the candle at both ends no doubt.
    It will be a whopper no doubt, I wait in anticipation.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mick,

    That last is a piece of nonsense. I called you on something similar a few days back but you seem not to have taken it under your notice (http://url.ie/8b1u).

    I love a good scrape as much the next man (as does Paul btw). But make it literate, relevant to what’s being said, and something approximating the truth.

    Now, play on…

  • Nunoftheabove

    Mickhall

    So if you’re essentially arguing that they’re as bad as the others…where’s the value proposition for voting for them ? Why would I change my vote if it represents the same tuppence halfpenny parish pump rubbish ?

    Do you honestly believe for a moment that they won’t fleece the less well off ? They’re in the process of doing so in the north and have a track record there of adopting a centrist or at times centre right position on social and economic matters.

    I have no personal axe to grind with them, to be clear; I simply can’t buy the idea that they have anything to offer that is genuinely alternative, or even viable, and don’t believe they have enough breadth and depth of talent to represent any reasonable chance of making progress at a time of crisis or indeed at any other time.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Archie

    Yes I have read it and am genuinely surprised if you’re implying that I could be impressed by that. They do not have the weight of any actual valid numbers behind them, they do not cite where these ideas derive from, where else they have worked and who, if anyone, with a heavyweight economic background can support their viability. It’s no doubt well-meaning but insubstantial and perhaps not much more than wishful thinking.

    In terms of any antipathy towards SF, I have no personal axe to grind with them – I would personally like to see them (or anyone, to be fair…apart from FG) administer a tremendous pasting to FF. I’m afraid though that I simply can’t buy into the idea that they have anything to offer that is genuinely meaningfully alternative, or even viable, and don’t believe they have enough breadth and depth of talent to represent any reasonable chance of making progress at a time of crisis or indeed at any other time. I do feel that they will regret not getting a more coherent programme together and being able to sell it in straightforwardly electoral terms. True, they may do so before a full elecrion but by the same token it’s not as if this crisis is even that recent and have had more than enough time to pull their act together on these points. If they feel that they have done, it doesn’t show.

  • billy

    Mickhall wrote,

    “What amazes me about some of the regulars here, despite the recent crash, they still hate (and fear) SF, more than they do the southern political elite, who turned the Nations economy over to a small group of reckless and corrupt individuals in the finance industry.

    Yet none of this matters if an opportunity arises to kick SF.”

    ———————————————————————–

    Bang on, my son.

    If you go back over all the threads started on this site since it’s inception, you will notice that those focusing on SF get the most replies. Look at this one, for example, 135 postings!

    Want to know how to be ignored on Slugger? Start a thread about loyalist violence, or Unionist bigotry. You’ll be lucky to get a few bites. Nah, not interested in that here on Slugger. We’re too busy picking over a family trauma in a sick effort to find something to stick on Gerry Adams etc.

    But, take heart, MickH. Whilst these sadsacks here are pissing in the wind, Pearse is romping home in Donegal and Gerry will stroll it in Louth. The bedsit no-marks that make up Slugger’s regulars are irrelevant. A joke. This blog has got it wrong every time.

    Still, it keeps these jokers out of circualtion in the real world and boring the rest of us, eh 🙂

  • Seamus Rua

    “Yet none of this matters if an opportunity arises to kick SF.”

    Surely that is what the website is for and was formed to do?

    Or what it has become?

    It does seem to be generally ignored by SF but I dont think that SF fear the blogsphere in the slightest.

    That is a pity because without that participation the quality plumetts – slugger was far better say 2-3 years ago.

  • “So if you’re essentially arguing that they’re as bad as the others…where’s the value proposition for voting for them ? Why would I change my vote if it represents the same tuppence halfpenny parish pump rubbish ?”

    At the very least I would suggest the value of voting for SF is you are telling FF @ FG you are angry with the way they deal with economic matters. I Add in FG as they, like you find it is impossible to think outside of the ridged straight jacket Capital and its political gofers have imposed on us all.

    What you seem to be saying I will keep the dog I know even if he does spend his days soiling my home.

    Mick

    Perhaps if you told me what you regard as nonsense in my 5.58 post, I could reply to you, but you don’t, instead you all but call me a liar. I cannot promise to be literate, but if you are unable to see the following reeks of class prejudice then you have been hanging out with the wrong people for far to long.

    “Populist parties tend to get a bit of a tough time wherever people wot have read buks hang out.”

    By the way I am presuming buks is smart arse for books, bs.

  • Words beneath my name were for Mick Fealty

  • Blair

    Josef,

    I was referring to the official government of Ireland. Not the west Brit lickspittles who sit in the dail.

  • Blair

    Mark,

    Aren’t many of these young vibrant voters going to be emigrating?

  • Mick Fealty

    Mick You suggested in your last post that this site had taken no notice of the economic crisis. That’s not a lie (since I don’t believe it was intended to mislead). It’s just nonsense.

    Billy,

    Have you read the post?

  • Nunoftheabove

    mickhall

    So essentially vote for SF because they’re not FG or FG, then. Not much of a ringing endorsement I’d have said but as I say it doesn’t bother me if others do liekwise. Just don’t expect any form of significant breakthrough to result from it, still less a leftward one – you’re backing the wrong horse if that’s what you want to see happen.

    You have no idea what my economic perspective is (and would you even recognize it as such even if I were to share it ?) so please don’t presume to project your weedy bogus anti-capitalist fifth form common room analysis onto me, thanks all the same.

  • billy

    Notice how Fealty only comes in to challenge those who oppose the anti-SF consensus here?

    Site’s a joke now, Mick.

  • Nunoftheabove

    MichaelMac

    Your question seems to be rooted in a sense that SF are owed something for becoming non-violent and for joining the mainstream. Part of joining the mainstream is taking it as well as you can give it, so just get used to the cut and thrust, most of us don’t hold back in giving the other parties a doing when it’s appropriate – no bye-ball for SF though. This self-pity really isn’t appropriate to mature political debate so I’d suggest that you drop that – the old ‘no-one likes us and the media are biased and and it’s not fair’ routine has really worn thin. Victimhood doesn’t become a party like SF in 2010.

  • Mick Fealty

    The question was simple enough Billy. Did you read the post?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But why do you think this is the case?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and thus another country.

  • Cormac Mac Art

    “It would be interesting to see where SF’s target seats will be and what sort of result could be obtained if SF were able to repeat the remarkable swing they just managed to obtain in Donegal.”

    Indeed. The question is can they, and how?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    But how many other Doherty’s does the party have?

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Well, a dearth south of the border, at least.

  • Archie Noble

    Nun, I’m confused by your comments “They do not have the weight of any actual valid numbers behind them”. Here are the SF fully costed proposals.

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/files/Pre-Budget2010_web.pdf

    This is solid stuff.

    I think if you want to dismiss it you have to say on what basis. I believe a lot of people will like this as an alternative way out of the current debacle.

  • Blair

    Archie,

    Solid stuff from solid people. Where does the money come from if you have no banks?

  • Mark

    Blair , I hope not , not until easter anyway . Blair , I live in Dublin and alot of my friends who wouldn’t have dreamt of voting SF 15/20 yrs ago are seriously thinking about it. They are middle aged people with kids whose kids are thinking about it for totally different reasons. Sinn Fein are an attractive vote for a wide variety of people. Politics is all about been in the right place at the right time and the shinners are master’s of opportunity . As I”ve said before , dedication is sadly missing in the other parties and Sinn fein is full of people who have passion , hunger , desire and want what’s best, genuinely want whats best for this country ( Yeh , there will be people who say but what about P Quinn , McConville etc ) but they are in a minority. Ireland is looking for a fresh start and people dont want to look back, they want to look to the future .

  • Mark

    Archie , with regards to Nun , most of his post are like that . He never backs up anything he posts with examples , never offers any substantive agrument and usually ends up insulting people with references to school / college . A man at odds with his inner self.

  • Mick Fealty

    I never mentioned the Slugger O’Toole web site in name. When I wrote ‘some of the regulars here,’ I meant commentators, although in hindsight I could have included a couple of those who blog, but that was not my intention at the time.

    My only gripe with sluggers coverage of the economy is it is almost always in the political and business elite box.
    Nevertheless that is to be expected and I have welcomed sluggers coverage as it has at least given an opportunity to debate economic issues.

    I think Mack raised these issues before many, even if I disagreed with his neo liberalism, which he masqueraded as libertarianism, I welcomed his attempt to raise a debate. Sadly he seems to have gone absent just when we need him.

    In truth, I feel it was you who was talking nonsense not I and it might have been better if you stuck to the truth. Instead of getting on your high horse and lashing out, after I justifiably criticised Paul.

  • redhugh78

    jurisdiction does not equal country.
    Ireland is the country.

    re the uk, not for long.

  • JJ Malloy

    Maybe they can rob some banks across the border.

  • Archie Noble

    Oh well, you can only try.

    Blair, I think your being flippant. Fair play its good for morale.

  • acrowley

    The northern problem has been resolved. The question is what sort of southern state the north will be subsumed into?
    The provisional leadership and the dissidents, ever trapped in purist logic, took their eye of the ball, when, for various reasons, they chose to show undue respect to the twenty six county statelet. They benefitted and profited from crony capitalism and clientelism as much as anybody else, whilst sending dysfuctional and abused children and young adults out to throw things at the Brits. Whilst they dipped their hats to Mellows and Frantz Omar Fanon, they failed to exorcise the ghosts of the colonial past. It is on those grounds, that the provos project under Adams was nothing more than a northern project. The boys in Dundalk whilst happy to wage war against the bad boys in the North, were happily cosying up with the developers; and they have the houses and cars to show for it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry Mick, this nesting is playing merry hell with the coherence of the thread. I can’t get to reply directly to the right post. The nonsense was the implication we’d not been giving due coverage to the economics. But you’ve clarified that now.

    Here’s Pete within three days of the bank guarantee:

    http://url.ie/8b6e

    PS: commenters is a more precise term than commentators (which can include bloggers)…

    Billy,

    This site is for people who are not afraid to converse with other with whom they disagree. What’s more the yellow red card system is only for those who register.

    One more off-the-wall rant and you’re out!

  • Neil

    We shall see what happens, but it’s generally advisable not to get too carried away delivering concrete predictions for elections of the future. As an example browse some of the pre Westminster election guff posted with regard to the UCUNF with the hotline direct to the government etc. People embarrassed themselves (not that you’d know it by their subsequent posts) by getting carried away with their confidence in the Tory element helping the UUP instead of hobbling them.

    The major point that people make with regard to the South of Ireland and SF’s performance at the last election is based around Gerry’s economics ideas. Many of those people are now forced to admit they got it wrong, and Gerry was much, much closer to being correct, as he talked about the unsusainability of the situation.

    So those same people, the ones who’ve sold ROI to the bankers, who are currently taking food out of the mouths of the poor to give to people who lost their money trying to make easy profits and who are universally well off, are now going to criticise SF’s economics? LOLZERS. Funny. Those guys must know what they’re talking about, after all you can’t lose on property. More houses than families in the country? Do for holidays, it’s all good on the gravy train.

    FF & FG, and the southern media have been proven to be both completely useless economically and dishonest while they’re about it. These are the detractors of SF, always have been and why? Because SF is a rival, looking to take their god given right to a seat in government and a nice salary to go with it. That’s what they care about, their jobs and their money.

    To those who suggest that a UI is unimportant and people won’t vote SF no matter what, I can smell your desperation. Pearse Doherty didn’t just win, he romped home. Expect more of the same as protest votes, as votes of people who realise they’ve been fed a line of shite and maybe SF aren’t actually Satan himself, and as votes of people who are starting to realise that the old way of doing business is fucked in a cocked hat (just as they were told by SF who were derided by the sconomics geniuses that have damn near bankrupted the country).

    I’d hold off on predictions that things will stay just the way they were, of course they won’t, things have changed now. But if you do decide to make off the wall, UCUNF style bullshit predictions, do me a favour. Drop by the site afterwards so we can laugh at ya.

  • Organized Rage

    PS: commenters is a more precise term than commentators (which can include bloggers)…

    Mick F

    That did make me LOL 😉

    Mick

  • Cormac Mac Art

    Neil – God forbid that there are those of us in Ireland who are not FF, FG or Labour members, who won’t vote for SF not because we don’t want them ”looking to take their god given right to a seat in government and a nice salary to go with it” but because of their support for the IRA, plain and simple,

  • Mark

    Cormac – Have you been in a fuckin cave for the last few years ? What support are you talking about ? no really what support ? It’s exactly that kind of shite that has the country the way it is. People like you who keep raking up the past , always looking on the dark side , refusing to let the country heal and grow . The PIRA have stated their war is over Cormac , when is yours ?

  • White Horse

    Mark

    What’s all the endless commemorations of IRA violence about?

    At the downing of the sun and in the morning we shall remember them – because we might need them again.

    Has Sinn Fein really distanced themselves from IRA violence?

  • Alias

    “The major point that people make with regard to the South of Ireland and SF’s performance at the last election is based around Gerry’s economics ideas. Many of those people are now forced to admit they got it wrong, and Gerry was much, much closer to being correct, as he talked about the unsusainability of the situation.”

    Actually, he simply parroted some cliché from Marx and that was the full extent of his input into the debate so to try to present that example of muppetry on his part as an example of prescience and diligence is pure farce. Probably one of the few truthful statements he made in his life was when he admitted that he knew nothing about economics. As for the property bubble in Ireland, he cashed in on it by buying property in Ireland.

  • acrowley

    voodoo economics;

    “By coincidence, the amount thought to have been invested by the IRA in Lehman’s was also €200m, which it had raised through the sale of its extensive property portfolio here and abroad at the height of the property boom.”

    boom boom…

  • Cormac mac Art

    Mark – I don’t want SF in govenerment in Ireland because:

    1 – Leading SF members such as McGuinness and Ferriss were leading members of the IRA.

    2 – If Adams was’nt in the IRA, he still had no problem supporting their actions. And he’s SF president.

    3 – People such as the above, who supported terrorist and criminal acts against the state, should have no part in an Irish government. They are just the flipside of FF.

    4 – The IRA was at war with the Irish state, and SF were IRA apoligists and supporters. Why on earth should such people be allowed to govern the same country?

    The ‘war’ might be over, but there are still unsolved crimes and unfound bodies out there. Republicans will still be ending up in court both sides of the border decades from now. Why should we swap one set of criminals for another in an Irish government?

  • Cormac mac Art

    Mark – the murders of MacCartney and Quinn, the northern bank robbery, to name just three incidents, did not occour ”way back when”. They occoured within the last five years.

    Look at it from a purely practical SF perspective. Why, each time they start to make electoral inroads in Ireland, should they have to contend with republican involvement in such incidents sabotaging further electoral gains?

    Don’t think I wish to see Sinn Fein excluded from the Dail. I WANT them fully participating in Irish politics. But, their problem for many years to come, will be the activities both recently and ”way back when” of republicans which opposing candidates WILL use against them.

    Something truely fundamental will have to change within SF, or twenty years from now they will be responsible for a mess every bit as large as this one. And THAT will be yet another disaster for Ireland, one I don’t wish to see.

  • Archie Noble

    Cormac, I’m sure your right that the past of the Republican Movement will be used against SF candidates. I doubt it will be effective though.

    I’m suprised you doubt GA was in the IRA and your quite wrong to say “The IRA was at war with the Irish state”. Even a cursory knowledge of that organisation would disabuse you of that notion.