A rumour too far? New MP for West Belfast?

Surprisingly one of the first people to publicly declare that Máirtín Ó Muilleoir had decided to return to electoral politics for SF was Mairtin og Meehan of the RNU (in the irishrepublican.net forum which can’t be linked). As that rumour mill seems similar to the one that allowed Slugger to announce Gerry Adams would use Edentubber to declare his intention to run as TD for Louth I think the latest rumour deserves early airing.

Is Seanna Walsh the as yet unannounced but annointed MP for West Belfast?

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  • YelloSmurf

    Surely it customary to have an election before announcing the name of the new MP.

  • Mark McGregor


    Adams said he’d stand down once the Dail election was called. Hardly surprising that West Belfast is speculating (leaking?) on his imminent replacement.

  • Scath Sheamais

    It seems obvious. Next year’s elections are taking place on May 5 (the 30th anniversary of Bobby Sands’ death), and it would seem like a logical date to have a West Belfast by-election as well. The Shinners will be laying the significance of the anniversary on thick, having Bobby’s close friend and comrade Séanna be the candidate would be the icing on the cake for them.

  • YellowSmurf the blogg posed the question if not declared SW the new Mp. SW would probably be about the best man from west Belfast SF run as a candidate for the seat.

  • tacapall

    Seanna Walsh would be the obvious choice, he would get the support of most republicans probably even those who have walked away from the Sinners in recent years. With the other notable high profile debutants getting into politics It gives the illusion that the Army are taking back control of republicanism from the Shinners

  • Driftwood

    What will the member of Parliament for West Belfast actually *do*?

    Something like this:

    If they’re elected to the National parliament, presumably they will not just stick to parochial issues, but Defence, Foreign Affairs etc, maybe advise George Osborne on our international aid effort to Ireland?

  • White Horse

    Who’s to say that the next MP for West Belfast won’t be Alex Attwood of the SDLP?

    I think that Jarry needs to be very careful in Louth. I’m sure he knows what kind of insecurity he is forcing on the Irish people and they have their defenders who will no doubt pull out all the tricks and strokes as well as heavy punches to ensure the security of their state.

    I am only too aware of John Hume’s decision not to fight the Louth seat when it was offered by Irish Labour in the 1970’s. Some people only really work “in the background”.

  • Mark McGregor


    I’m so tempted to leave the title and replace the rest with Attwood’s picture.

    It’s freezing, we could all do with a laugh.

  • Dixie Elliott

    At a recent Hunger Strike commemoration event in Cork a certain person shocked the audience with the statement,

    “Richard O’Rawe is taking his life in his own hands, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was found dead some night.”

    This was in reply to a question from the floor about O’Rawe’s claims.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Prior to the Pat Sheehan selection, I’d have said the chances of Walsh replacing Adams were remote. However, Walsh would represent a consistent choice in this regard.

    My first thought was that Maskey would be shifted from South Belfast to replace Adams, leaving the Assembly seat free for O’Muilleoir to finally provide the party with a Belfast-based prospective Minister from its sizeable city MLA contingent.

    But that would indicate the party moving in a differing direction….

  • Mark McGregor

    Chris, Scath Sheamais, Christy Walsh, tacapall,

    On any other party my specualtive blog would have been met with ‘there is no election, there are no candidates, the party membership will decide’ – blah.

    In the case of SF you all seem resigned to accepting Seanna even though the first/only time it has been raised publicly was by me on Slugger.

    You folks don’t think this indicates something really wrong with SF? I suggest it as rumour and it is now being dealt with as a fait accompli?

    Something seriously wrong there guys.

  • paul

    dont believe anything martin og meehan says, hes a walter mitty.

  • tacapall

    Mark this has been an on going rumour going round West belfast since dear leader announced his departure, indeed its supposedly between Seanna Walsh, Bobby Storey and a certain Tyrone man.

  • Is there a major root and branch restructuring going on right through SF, both at council and MLA level in advance of next year’s elections?

  • Mark McGregor


    They aren’t leaving people much choice with that ‘fantasy’ lineup.

    If I had a vote I’d be going Seanna and then spoiling my ballot come the election.

  • Mark McGregor


    It seems a bit clear that SF are replacing old political types with former members of the IRA in a lot of cases or equally old business types.

    Same formula as we’ve seen with other establishment parties.

  • tacapall

    They’re dipping peoples toes in the water with the rumours, the tried and tested method by the Shinners into gauging opinion. I’d go with Seanna as well unlike yourself I wont be bothering registering to even spoil my vote.

  • John Ó Néill

    Did anyone consider asking SF when and where the candidate for the by-election would be selected (presumably a convention in the Felons)? Since the general election hasn’t been called in the south etc, there won’t be an actual resignation until then and presumably (obviously) no convention to select a candidate until then?

  • Mark

    Mark Jesus Mcgregor – you say ” My specualtive blog , the first/only time it has been raised publicly was by me on slugger , I suggest it as rumour , something seriously wrong there guys ”

    Tacapall – Mark ” this has been an on going rumour going round West Belfast ”

    Your really have your finger on the pulse there Mark , keep the word on the street coming and let us know what the dogs say.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    If the Republics election is indeed held in late February and Gerry Adams duly elected in Louth, then can we say that for convenience the Westminster election wil be held on the same day as the Assembly Election? Who exactly moves the writ?
    “White Horse” is right to point out that an election takes place not a coronation and Mr Adams chosen replacement does not get there by divine right.
    Let us assume the candidate is Seanna Walsh. Clearly like Pat Sheehan he touches the right parts of SF…..the volunteers…in a way that another candidate might not do. So what he gains in republican street cred, he loses in “outreach”.
    While many Sluggerites cling to the touching notion that Gerry Adams is a liability in West Belfast, he is actually an asset with 70% of the votes cast. He appeals rightly or wrongly to both sides of the republican family….he has the street cred and the outreach.
    It is unlikely that Mr Walsh or indeed any successor could match 70%…and that inevitably means that his rivals will be closer to him. “White Horse” is optimistic to think that Alex Attwood might win……but Id suggest he will be a whole lot closer.
    A vote share of 70:15 could certainly turn into 63:22 (still obviously comfortable) but that MIGHT have implications in terms of an Assembly Election if held on the same day.
    It would obviously mean SFs fifth seat would be in danger and that the destination of that final seat might just go SDLPs way.

  • White Horse

    Mark McGregor

    I suppose you think a picture of the little cuddly bear, Seana, is not funny.

    Of course, it was a good rumour. There are republicans out there who still think that they’re the good guys. But could Seana lie without blushing when defending the faith?

    I sense deep desperation in Adams’ “betrayal”.

  • White Horse


    I think we have to factor in the lengths that will be gone to in the Republic to counter the Sinn Fein “default” option.

    Sinn Fein could do very well – or very badly yet again. Jarry’s seat might seem safe now but if and when his economic arguments are tested it might not be so safe. Sinn Fein and Jarry might face another humiliation.

    Or they might encourage a public rebellion that could serve to demonstrate that the party is “all fur coat and no knickers”. Imagine what they would do with a big vote other than gulp. I think the public will give them a miss.

  • Mark

    Whitehorse – ” imagine what they would do with a big vote ”

    You won’t have to imagine for much longer .

  • Scath Sheamais

    Mark, you may have been the first person to mention Séanna’s name publicly, but I can tell you that his name has been doing the rounds since Adams’ announcement at Edentubber. He’s not the only name of course, but he was being mentioned as the replacement for MP in the same breath as Pat Sheehan was being mentioned as the replacement for MLA.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    White Horse,
    Im not keen on the whole “Jarry” thing. Its not respectful. Its far too early to predict outcome in the Republic or indeed the assembly as a whole.
    But there is a degree of optimism that SDLP can have in West Belfast and indeed further afield, providing SDLP can exploit the SF fault lines in policy and personality.

  • White Horse


    It’s a matter of them being found out before or after the election. They might challenge orthodoxy by some mealy mouthed spiv boy appeal to ignorance in the upcoming election but I doubt it. Even if they do, what can they really do with their personnel?

  • White Horse


    The Jarry thing is hilarious. It respects the centrality of Gerry if not him.

    I hesitate to predict anything other than that Sinn Fein will be found wanting before or after an election in the south..

  • Mark

    Scath Sheamais – S>S did you see my post at 9.38 address to mark mcgregor. I just want to know if i am been censored as there have been other accusations on different threads re posts going missing.

  • Mark

    Scath Sheamais – Are you getting my posts , please rply so i’ll know if the powers that be are leaving out certain comments posted by us the customers.

  • tacapall

    Mark your posts are there.

  • Mark

    Whitehorse – sticks and stones and here’s a football analogy . As a fan you always give stick to their best player because you fear him , you know if anybody is going to pull it off it will be him so we as fans roar abuse at him hoping to put him off his game. It rarely works .

  • Mark

    Thanks Tacapall , Joan just got me thinking .

  • Mark McGregor

    “On any other party my specualtive blog would have been met with ‘there is no election, there are no candidates, the party membership will decide’”

    Those type of comments would probably be the kind made by party members for various reasons so maybe no surprise that they were not made. On my part I merely reflected on who I know as senior republicans in west Belfast and thought he has the kind of profile that would attract votes over a few others I could think of so if he is not selected he would probably at least be one consideration.

  • alley cat

    West Belfast is not leaking this it is speculatiion from
    Another forum – but calling it rumour makes it look like
    Being in the know rather thab knowing nothing.

  • White Horse


    Many fear Jarry because he is so prominent with all his flawed abilities. If his heart was in the right place, no-one would fear him. But their “best player” is central to Sinn Fein sociopathy with the requisite lies and endless strategising in coldness.

    Do I fear him? What’s there to fear? An old man with ambitions for his struggle that might have seemed reasonable twenty years ago?

  • Mark

    White Horse ,

    Yeh he is an old man and he has givin his whole life to a cause that he believes in .A struggle that has taken so much from him . I can remember listening to an interview with Gen. Glover ( top brass british army i’m sure you know ) in the 70’s and him saying that the brits expected someone with charisma and intelligence to come through the republican ranks and become a figurehead and lead etc . He said Gerry Adams was that man , and then you think of everything he has been through .He has basically been a hate figure for half the country for most of his life . He has been top of the tree for 40 years . McGuinness could always play the military card but Adams could not .The look on his face carrying Thomas Begley’s coffin , the abuse he took , and he still comes back for more . I admire the man and I am not ashamed to admit it . Yeh and I’m sure the comments will be snide and nasty and he did this and he did that but he’s still here and he’s not gone away .

  • keirhardy

    Surely a meagre stage,even the verge outside Westminster would be too small for Maitain’s ego?

  • White Horse


    Yes, the British military thought highly of him. Of course he was speaking their language and in that sense they, who have much historical experience of these rebellions, sponsored his rise to the detriment of the Irish people. Since he spoke their language they knew that they would eventually safeguard the UK interest.

    The reality was, of course, that there was an alternate option for change, the SDLP, who spoke a different language, not as easy to secure the UK interest, and Jarry deliberately ensured that it only reached its potential after the major players were retired.

    How else can anybody with any sense regard Jarry but as Britain’s “useful idiot”, to use a Marxist expression that Jarry might understand.

    Today we see Jarry et al promoted by the British because they are no threat to their ways, having collapsed as an independent entity, as was inevitable for a party that served two gods, social justice (left) and the nation (right), having defaulted to the nation.

    We can see the right come on board now, knowing that the footsoldiers have secured the territory, and fought off the enemy by insisting that the enemy were not “working class”.

    The real enemy is emerging now and insisting on threatening the Irish state.