Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir to be Sinn Féin candidate in Balmoral

He neglected to mention it in his farewell to the blog, as he neglected to mention his interim position as a non-executive director on the NI Water Board, but the BBC reports that, the now former publisher of the Belfast Media Group titles, Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir is to stand as the Sinn Féin candidate in the Balmoral district area of Belfast City Council.

And I thought he was going “to concentrate on the job of group managing director”?

Btw, the BBC report – “Former Sinn Fein councillor Mairtin O’Muilleoir is to re-enter politics as a party representative on Belfast City Council” – may need to be revised, since there isn’t a Sinn Féin councillor for the area in the Council at present…

Adds  The Belfast Telegraph report has some quotes from Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir and notes

But Mr O Muilleoir denied that his return to politics would see him also make a bid for Gerry Adams’s West Belfast Westminster seat when the Sinn Fein president steps down to stand for election in the Dail next year.

Although the report also claims

A Sinn Fein meeting is expected to endorse his bid to replace Alex Maskey, who is leaving Belfast City Council, but who will remain a South Belfast MLA.

No, that would make him a representative for Lagan Bank, not Balmoral.

Update  According to a report in the Irish News

Mr O Muilleoir said he rejoined the party last week after leaving in 1997 to concentrate on his business interests. [added emphasis]

And

[Mr O Muilleoir] said his decision would mean he would leave his position as interim board member of Northern Ireland Water, which he took up in June.

“I would be unable to do two jobs therefore I expect the chairman will accept my indication to step down,” he said.

“I have enjoyed it very much and feel we have achieved a lot in a short time but I couldn’t continue the work now.”

I’m sure you couldn’t…

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  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Has Gerry’s Westminster replacement been announced yet?

  • Pod

    Ooooooooooooooooh

    You’re awful tetchy Pete!!

    I think Ó Meilleoir’s re-entry should make for some interesting times ahead in what he terms the ‘Dome of Delight’

    Go n-eirí leat a Mháirtín!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Fair play.
    I like the guy and certainly a more useful addition to the Sinn Féin team on the Council than Pat Sheehan at Stormont.

  • Oracle

    Aye sure he’ll blend in well while out canvassing in his top of the range German sports car, he’d have to downgrade to canvass Turf-Lodge and he doesn’t do down grades anymore so Balmoral it is For Socialist Mairtin

  • Pete Baker

    Adds The Belfast Telegraph report has some quotes from Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir and notes

    But Mr O Muilleoir denied that his return to politics would see him also make a bid for Gerry Adams’s West Belfast Westminster seat when the Sinn Fein president steps down to stand for election in the Dail next year.

    Although the report also claims

    A Sinn Fein meeting is expected to endorse his bid to replace Alex Maskey, who is leaving Belfast City Council, but who will remain a South Belfast MLA.

    No, that would make him a representative for Lagan Bank, not Balmoral.

  • pippakin

    His feet are well under the table so he should do well. Is it just me though or is it beginning to look as though SF have a seriou lack of new faces?

  • podsghost
  • fitzjameshorse1745

    pippakin….I have recently observed this.
    there is no SF reserve team to step up. This compares unfavourably with SDLP who perhaps had this problem for many years.
    I think its generational.
    SDLP had politicians who possibly stayed on one election too long.
    SF now seems to have the same problem.
    Having said that I like and respect Máirtín Ó Muilleoir who is of course very unpoular with journalists. (another reason to admire him)

  • becky

    what about double jobbing..millers in everything but the crib

  • MichaelMac

    A council seat gain for SF in Balmoral looks pretty much assured.

  • pippakin

    FJH

    To be fair it happens in most political parties, every now and then there is a desperate need for new faces. SF though seem to be suffering more than most of the others and yet they insist they are a ‘young’ party.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Yep and it happens with football teams. The players get old together. Introducing the youth team and hoping they are up to it is what it is all about.

  • tacapall

    Its not that there’s no new faces on the block, those at the helm just dont like or trust anyone who doesn’t fit into their defination as a republican, its all nudge nudge wink wink as long as you mosey with the right company. Máirtín O’Millionaire has always been considered as Gerrys replacement its not voters the Shinners want to attract in West Belfast they believe the sheep will follow blindly forever, its certain circles they want into, the type that have money like Máirtín.

  • MichaelMac

    The bright young face (not) of Fearghall Mc Kinney in Fermanagh & Sth Tyrone went down a treat.
    If you are going to do parachutes then this is probably as good as it gets.

  • mick sarsfield

    give mairtin a go and see how he goes, there will not be too many that match him as hes as sharp as a razor!!

  • Oracle

    MichaelMac

    “If you are going to do parachutes then this is probably as good as it gets.”

    So you don’t agree with Gerry trying to grab a soft seat while the republics voters have hobsons choice…. hmmm interesting view

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    MichaelMac,

    “A council seat gain for SF in Balmoral looks pretty much assured.”

    Have you a prediction on SF seats?

  • old school

    An arrogant, obnoxious, patronising, middle aged businessman.
    Should be a shoe in for Balmoral.

  • Anon

    What happened to Vincent Parker? He was being touted as the SF Balmoral rep for quite a while. The SF seat in Balmoral has always been elusive. I wouldn’t count too many chickens just yet. Niall and Bernie Kelly are quite well dug in there. Maybe demographics now mean 3 nationalist seats in the area, but I don’t know.

  • Blair

    “mick sarsfield says:
    6 December 2010 at 6:31 pm

    give mairtin a go and see how he goes, there will not be too many that match him as hes as sharp as a razor!!”

    Mick,

    Wasn’t he guy who predicted huge things for the Sinners in the 2007 Dail election?

  • Barry the Blender

    Pete Baker blogging about Sinn Fein *rant* *snarl* how dare he. *Generic derogatory personal remark about Pete* *grr* *Snarl*

  • Realistic Idealist

    Máirtín Ó’Muilleoir will certainly be a welcome asset to SF’s city hall team.

    I think there have been good points raised in terms of when SF will begin a generational shift in a more meaningful way and further to that; a little more mischievously, that they in fact have problems finding decent young people to fill the shoes being vacated by the more “seasoned” activists now taking more of a back seat.

    The truth I believe touches on 3 things:
    1) tacapall is probably right to a degree, that the current leadership only really trust themselves and those who were there wearing the t-shirt with them through all the hard years, for some I think it is difficult to fully trust or have much faith in the younger whipper snappers, (which in some instances may be fair enough, as Sinn Féin normalises to constitutional politics like any other party, career politics will inevitably follow, so not every young shinner may be dyed in the wool any more).
    2) Sinn Féin plan long term strategy very meticulously and 4 or 5 steps in advance, they may not always be right or have 100% success, but decisions are taken very deliberately and with foresight, even their biggest detractors would likely acknowledge this – does anyone really believe that a strategy hasn’t been thought out at some upper echelon (think tank if you will) and is being implemented at the rate of Sinn Féins own choosing in terms of regenerating the parties elected reps?
    3) Anyone who knows of Sinn Féin as an organisation and who has taken interest in their youth activities or younger activists will certainly acknowledge that they appear to have an abundance of young talent emerging across every constituency, both in former heartlands and in pastures new. The one difference being, that while they have a handful of good young individuals emerging in Belfast such as cllr Charlene O’Hara (Lisburn), it has to be said that given the shear volume of Republican activists who were/are involved down through the years, per capita of support/vote (if you will), Belfast appears to have the least amount of young shinners involved in their local organisation, when compared to the relative (lesser) strengths of other areas – I do not know what occurred over the years to create this phenomenon in Belfast but it certainly appears to be true.

  • Chris Donnelly

    An excellent move by Sinn Fein. The party certainly are upping their game recently.

    Can’t see Mairtin being in City Hall for long, though, as the party need his likes up on the Hill…

    Here’s my stab at what’s likely to unfold:

    1. Mairtin to spend next few months on Council;
    2. Adams to gain election to Louth as a TD, precipitating his resignation as MP;
    3. Alec Maskey to give up MLA, with Mairtin stepping into his South Belfast shoes;
    4. Alec Maskey to run for Adams’ West Belfast seat.

    Could be way off mark, but this scenario feels right….we’ll find out soon.

  • Blair

    It’s nice that the faithful still firmly believe that there is indeed a cunning plan.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Mr Chris Donnelly is probably on the money here and I would have thought that choreography makes sense. But then I was completely blind sided by Pat Sheehan…a move that makes no sense.
    Realistic Idealist also makes good points and it is surely true that SF are usually very sure-footed and plan well ahead…..but again how to Sheehan and Ms Hargey fit into that.
    SF have moved people away from Hunger Strikes and this seems retrograde.
    Yes SF activists (and they use the word “activists” rather than “members”) get a bit confused with the “where were you in the 1970s” or people they see as “Johnny Come Latelys” ……they are happy to reach out to new voters but not to new members.
    Joining Sinn Féin is not exactly easy.
    Its a bit like joining the Freemasons.
    Potential members complain about “vetting”.
    And ultimately this will damage SF when people feel they are being asked to vote for a party that they cant actually join.

    To use the football team metaphor…..its not easy to tell Gary Neville, Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs that their time is up especially when some are still on occasions capable of matchwinning performances…..and Rafael, Anderson and Obertan seem not quite ready…..and of course some newcomers (Johnny Evans) have to be tried tested and rejected before improvements can be made. Necessarily this means a year or two in the doldrums before actually winning big time again. Look at Manchester United 1967-1993.
    Look at Manchester City 1970 to Eternity.
    So telling the big stars in Sinn Féin to move on…..is difficult.
    But they should learn the lesson from SDLP.

  • becky

    this is millers payment for making squinter grovel to adams

  • tacapall

    Cunning plan alright, its like circling the wagons only its jobs for the boys im sure those who are stepping down will be stepping into the jobs of those who are stepping up. None of that one man one job socialism lark for those in the circle its happy days collect collect collect and fk you.

  • Driftwood

    Why did he change his name from Martin Miller? presumably by deed poll, or is this new name a sort of Foreign Legion nom de guerre thingy?

  • YelloSmurf

    Glancing at the front page of the Andersonstown News this morning, I thought that it was a shameless plug for the owners’ political career. He makes Murdoch and Desmond look subtle.

  • Blair

    I’d almost forgotten about the Daily Ireland. Another of the sharp one’s personal triumphs.

  • Seamus Rua

    I like Máirtín and greatly respect him.

    Sure some people dont like him cos he rich, but I think that Tadhgs should be rich people too!

  • Blair

    Neither the Daily Ireland nor La did very well. Despite the generous donations provided by Her Majesty’s government.

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • slug

    I do find his blog makes him seem like a name-dropper and one who is a little “up himself” .

  • fordprefect

    Marty Miller is about as sharp as Forrest Gump, (though when it comes to making money for himself and getting himself elevated to positions of apparent power on the backs of other people, he’s up there with the best of them!). Like his brother “Gearoid”, who quickly changed his name to Gerry Miller when he was made the Daily Mirror’s editor for the north of Ireland he knows a good thing when he sees it, which makes me very suspicious about him standing to try to become a lowly councillor in Balmoral. Can the A/town, south, and north Belfast news’s now be called “impartial” anymore? They always spouted the sinn fein line anyway, and are now as bad as the daily mail, sun, express etc. with the hysterical headlines and so on. I believe that Miller would have had page 3 girls in his rags if he thought he’d make more money out of it!

  • “but the BBC reports that”

    But the BBC AFAIK has failed to report Belfast Harbour’s £20,000 sponsorship of Ó Mulleoir’s ‘New York New Belfast” project. BH was aware of the political dimension yet worked its way around it. BH’s directors are appointed by DRD, currently a SF ministry, and Ó Mulleoir was appointed as an NIW NED soon after the NYNB gathering.

    This story was linked on Slugger yet the MSM apparently didn’t get its significance – and I underestimated its significance 😉

  • Mairtín Ó Muilleoir would be a welcome addition to any party given he’s as sharp as they come. Sure Daily Ireland and Lá didn’t work out as well as hoped – but it wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of Ó Muilleoir or, for that matter, the teams of both newspapers. (Lá recorded the highest ever sale of an Irish language newspaper, 4,404 copies per day, 20,000 per week) in its heyday). As much as I admire Máírtín personally, I think his choice of party is dire but then again, up north, what choice is there? The same applies down south. I think it’s good that Mairtín is going for the council first, I’ve had it up to my teeth with Media High Priests who think they can right all wrongs saying they’d love to get involved in politics only they wouldn’t like to end up on the back benches or worse, like George Lee.

  • Mr Morphy

    Leaving the past and who these people ‘used to be’ where it belongs, the simple facts are that in the here and now we have as representatives of a Socialist Republican Party

    Pat Sheehan – Middle class businessman living in an affluent residential area in West Belfast.

    Máirtín Ó Muilleoir – Upper Middle Class millionaire businessman living in an affluent residential area in West Belfast.

    Sinn Féin are morphing right infront of our eyes …

  • WESTS AWAKE

    Word has it that Sean Paul O’Hare from Feile An Phobail fame has recently stood aside in preparation for a new political role with Mairtin and Co, People see these two as bringing with them the new ”Acumen” which will contribute to the business like capability of the Sinners!!!!!!!! Hope the Party have deep pockets given Daily Ireland and Europes biggest Community Festival’s large apetites !!!!

  • Pete Baker

    Update According to a report in the Irish News

    Mr O Muilleoir said he rejoined the party last week after leaving in 1997 to concentrate on his business interests. [added emphasis]

    And

    [Mr O Muilleoir] said his decision would mean he would leave his position as interim board member of Northern Ireland Water, which he took up in June.

    “I would be unable to do two jobs therefore I expect the chairman will accept my indication to step down,” he said.

    “I have enjoyed it very much and feel we have achieved a lot in a short time but I couldn’t continue the work now.”

    I’m sure you couldn’t…

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I love the way we contribute to parity of esteem by for example referring to Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as “Martin Millar”. Hilarious. And of course Im just as bad with my comments about “Elizabeth Windsor” and “North East Ireland”.
    But at least we know the ground rules.
    I dont know the rules re changing your name by deed poll. But in my case it wasnt necessary. Several years ago I completed my Voters Registration renewal with the Gaelic version of my name.
    Id like to say that this was a deeply principled decision but I am a man without principles or ethics.
    It was actually more to do with my long endless feud (Slugger O’Toole passim) with the old jobsworth who is polling officer at our local station.
    The “old” green passport had my name in two versions (the current one is I think only as Béarla).
    My decision also had something to do with the lady collecting the applications arriving at our door during either a football match or Coronation Street.
    Either way…nothing to do with principle.
    A few years I changed back to the English version.
    Ive never had any trouble using either…..except on one occasion when I got one of those “we want to give you a credit card” letters.
    Filled it in and got a phone call saying they had trouble verifying the application.
    “Ah youve seen the Gaelic version of my name on the Electoral Register”.
    “Oh are you Welsh?”
    “Er…no”
    “We have rules about Welsh”

  • old school

    Christ, it says a lot about Belfast and it’s people when the likes of O Millionaire are described as “sharp” and “witty”.
    What a hellhole.
    He reminds me of Richard Madely.
    Yes, he of Richard and Judy

  • old school

    Anyway, did he actually leave Sinn Fein?
    Or did he just claim to do so, in order to front SF money ventures, and avail of the generosity of British, E.U and American funding?
    A bit like Ruane claimed she wasn’t in Sinn Fein when running the festivals, and Slab claims not to be linked to Sinn Fein.

  • pippakin

    The man appears to be genuine 24carat plastic. It looks to me as though the ‘inner circle’ are consolidating rather than opening to young people.

  • fordprefect

    Pippa

    Spot on!

  • FJH “We have rules about Welsh”

    LOL. I read this as:

    “We have rules about the Welsh”

  • “Mr O Muilleoir said he rejoined the party last week” .. Irish News

    “Máirtín Ó Muilleoir declared that he canvassed for Sinn Fein in Belfast constituencies, most recently for Gerry Adams in the May 2010 Westminster election.” .. Conor Murphy, 30 June 2010 [Murphy had slipped Ó Muilleoir in as an additional NIW NED so perhaps he won’t be replaced.]

    “p4/26 Contracting arrangements – can’t write a [£20,000] sponsorship cheque to Belfast Media Group and need an apolitical solution. 01/12/09 9.00am” .. Belfast Harbour to Ó Muilleoir email

    It’s all as clear as mud 🙂

  • fordprefect

    I really wish people would stop referring to sinn fein as socialist, left, or even republican. I said on another post on this site that they threw away any vestige of the above three, years ago. Lets call them for what they are, a right of centre, constitutional nationalist party and they have been for years. The only reason they are holding back on the cuts coming is because there are Assembly and Council elections here in the north next year, if there weren’t they would be wielding the axe as enthusiastically as any Tory Scumbag. That’s why people need to protest, protest and protest again, the students and others in England showed the way, keep it up!

  • Glencoppagagh

    Is the man’s health up to it? Has he been cured of his acute Burgess’s syndrome?

  • Blair

    “Lets call them for what they are, a right of centre, constitutional nationalist party and they have been for years.”

    Ford,

    Slightly constitutional Hibernians.

  • Mike Scott

    How can the SDLPs Bernie Kelly and Niall Kelly be said to be well bedded down in Balmoral? Bernie has a solid vote by the looks of things, but Niall has never even stood for election, and he has barely registered on the local scene since being co-opted.

  • MichaelMac

    Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    ”Have you a prediction on SF seats?’

    They currently have 14. I believe they will regfain their seat in Pottinger, and gain extra seats in Castle and Balmoral. There may, on a very good day, be an extra seat in Oldpark.
    However, the result in Lower Falls will be difficult to repeat and I can see them lose a seat there.
    Prediction is definitely 16 but as high as 18.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    MichaelMac,

    ta for that.

    The SDLP to stay on 8?

  • Chris Donnelly

    MichaelMac
    Can’t see a gain in Castle being on the cards. That’d need particularly strong, local candidates and don’t see that happening.

    Balmoral and Pottinger should be in the bag. You’re right about Lower Falls, simply because repeating 5 from 5 would be a mammoth achievement.

    Net gain of one or two for Sinn Fein in Belfast.

  • podsghost

    Seriously Chris,
    1) you should know that SF doesnt think so far ahead, Mairtin was drafted in because the rep for the area had zero profile and had failed to build upon the solid base established for him, in fact the party resorting to Mairtin in South Belfast is evidence of what a weak state it is in. SF hardly exists in Balmoral 3/4 members and has 4/5 members in laganbank( no memebrs in Ormeau at all ffs)
    High profile name to potentially gain a seat….. because….
    2) the party will lose a seat in lower Falls and has no chance of taking a seat in Pottinger( do the math the SDLP out poled SF in East) Its a safe Alliance seat.

    predictions, SF to return same number of Councillors but Balmoral replaces Lower Falls, Laganbank is also vulnerable

  • Chris Donnelly

    podsghost
    SDLP certainly won’t come anywhere near Sinn Fein in Pottinger. Alliance will need to retain some of Long’s loyalist vote to have a chance of retaining seat there.

    In any case, it’s far from a safe Alliance seat.

    Furthermore, if the number of party members in a local area correlated to a party’s vote then the SDLP would have only a handful of MLAs, never mind councillors!

  • podsghost

    Chris a party that prides itself on community based activism needs emmmmm……activists….on the ground doing the work….drafting in students and westies doesnt cut it…….

    Pottinger…. the figures from the GE and tallies suggest otherwise…even the party locally accept it ( privately of course)