Lee Reynolds steps up to Belfast City Council

DUP strategist Lee Reynolds answering questions at Slugger Big Election breakfast - photo by Mr UlsterBack in May at Slugger’s Big Heid Coont Breakfast, DUP strategist Lee Reynolds explained to the assembled crowd how the party’s vote management had worked successfully at the Assembly and local government elections, before admitting that from the tallies he reckoned it had failed him on his attempt to get a seat on Belfast City Council. (Lee was the second candidate to be excluded in Castle district, with first preference votes just shy of half of the electoral quota.)

But politics is a long game, and Martina Purdy’s tweet at teatime confirms that Lee’s wish shall come true after all.

Ian Crozier stood down as councillor at the beginning of July to become Chief Executive of the Ulster Scots Agency. (Maybe he’ll help accelerate the opening of the long-promised visitor centre in their Great Victoria Street offices.) Now Lee Reynolds has been put forward to be co-opted into Ian’s seat in Castle Oldpark district.

Lee Reynolds in transit at Belfast's Orange Parade, 12 July 2011

I'm changing from 02 to Orange

Maybe next year on the Twelfth of July, Lee will be resolving issues for his North Belfast constituents as he marches rather than making up DUP policy on the hoof!*

* That’s obviously an attempt at humour, before any party lawyers get in touch with Mick

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  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    “Ian Crozier stood down as councillor at the beginning of July to become Chief Executive of the Ulster Scots Agency.”

    Yet, he speaks no Ulster-Scots and is not even an active learner, is not the Ulster-Scots agency one half of the North-South LANGUAGE body

    More outrageously, According to this newspaper report (p. 4)
    http://tinyurl.com/3eecet3 he doesnt even have an interest in it!

    How can this be justified?

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Not that it makes little difference, but isn’t Ian Crozier a representative for Oldpark and not Castle? Surely he has to be co-opted for the vacated ward and not the one he stood for?

  • Having initially called Ms Purdy ‘Martin’ I’ll now fix the other errors in the post, before heading off to eat some humble pie for supper.

  • Lee Reynolds has been getting a lot of credit recently.
    But to be honest Id have thought he had more influence as a “behind the scenes person” than a City Councillor.
    Its often the case that a person is more suited to one role than another and I know which Id prefer.
    Certainly the profile of DUP members is changing. Outreach might soon include unusual defections from people with a religious background not normally associated with the DUP. At least they are trying to “head hunt”.
    And certainly the 21st Century DUP will attract poilitical “professionals” (normally earmarked for other Parties) in a way that the 20th Century DUP could not do.

    Good luck to Mr Crozier too.
    But……the timeline here (application/appointment and nomination/election) is interesting.
    Heading up the Ulster Scots Agency is obviously several steps up from being a City Councillor.

  • nightrider

    Certainly the profile of DUP members is changing. !!???!!!!!

    To what, Glastonbury and Pharyngula?

    Nope, they’re just more of the same. Loyal sons of North Down.
    And even there they’re regarded as pathetic by the educated. And councillors (or MLA’s) are not seen as educated by people that are, but go to decent mainland universities.

    As for the ‘Ulster Scots Agency’, christ, how long will that sad charade run?

  • ayeYerMa

    Eddie, Ulster Scots is more than just a language. There is the cultural element too, and those sneering at it probably are either being sectarian or haven’t actually spent much time in the coastal areas of NI that look out to Scotland.

  • Sam Maguire

    Just out of curiousity, is this the same guy that challenged Jim Molyneaux for the leadership of the UUP in the mid 90s?

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh


    “There is the cultural element too”

    Nah, don’t buy that. There is no no.

    There is just the “Cultural Element”.

    There isnt even the pretence of language promotion.

    It is the Ulster-Scots language which is losing out, not to Gaelic but to Orangism.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    “There is no TOO”

    I mean to say

  • Jack2

    Didnt know there was a govt funded website for Ulster Scots.
    After browsing it for 2 mins it seems like a completely made up language.

    Kids section:

    Fur weans is actually the tagline.

    Dont worry though its only our taxes being spent on this shite (yes thats probably an Ulster Scots term).

  • “Graham Shields, the Chief Electoral Officer, today gave notice that John Lee Charles Reynolds had been returned to fill the vacancy on Belfast City Council.” .. EONI website

    Was this co-option a SF ‘gift’ to the DUP? The DUP candidates received 24.8% of the valid vote in the 2011 council election in a ward where about 70% of the vote went to national candidates, of which 51.7% went to SF.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    For the record, I can speak some Ulster-Scots and support the language.

    That is why I am horrified that the Ulster-Scots agency is merely promoting Orangism and has a prejorative attitude to Ulster-Scots and its speakers.

    Where is ‘Teach Yourself Ulster-Scots?’

  • Comrade Stalin

    Congrats to Lee who will be a fine councillor. Good to have someone with clue up there.

    fjh, surely a man with a questioning eye for detail such as yourself might be able to read between those infernal lines here.

    A councillor gets moved out of his home ward (Castle) to another ward (Oldpark), gets elected .. and then resigns a couple of months after the poll to be a bureaucrat in a rather pointless quango. It’s not like he’s a mini Jim Shannon – when have you ever heard Crozier talking about Ulster-Scots ?

    There’s something fishy going on here.

  • dwatch

    Just out of curiousity, is this the same guy that challenged Jim Molyneaux for the leadership of the UUP in the mid 90s?

    Indeed it is Sam:

    “Saturday 18 March 1995
    At a meeting of the Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), was challenged for the position of leader by Lee Reynolds, a 21 year old student. Molyneaux received 521 votes, Reynolds 88 votes, and there were 10 spoilt votes. Molyneaux said that the 15 per cent who voted against him were “taking a kick at John Major through me”. [Molyneaux announced his resignation as leader of the UUP on 28 August 1995.]”

  • Jack2

    Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh (profile) says:
    26 July 2011 at 9:28 am

    For the record, I can speak some Ulster-Scots and support the language.

    We all speak it. Its not a language its just localised slang packaged up.
    Look under V on the website – 4 words in a language???
    Very = Brave, Desperate, Quare, Real, Powerfu, Terrible, Vera, Wild
    These are just synonyms and most of them are English!

    Its just a complete nonsense.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh


    I obviously disagree and deny that that the Ulster-Scots agency represent the language in any way or attempt to.

    If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say that a certain Orange Lodge with British Isrealite ideology is using the Ulster-Scots agency to make Ulster Scots language look ridiculous in order to make the Gaelic language lool ridiculous by (false) association.

  • Of course there is a Scots language, as documented in dictionaries, grammars and literature produced in Edinburgh.

    The question is whether there is a separate Ulster-Scots language with different spelling, or if the distinction is just to prevent local politicians having to kowtow to professors at Edinburgh University.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    “Of course there is a Scots language, as documented in dictionaries, grammars and literature produced in Edinburgh.”

    Lets hope they send over researchers to study the Scots language in Ulster before it is too late.

    It would be great if there was a local body to do such work …. O. Sorry.

  • Mike the First

    Jack2, take a little look at this:


    davenewman – I think it’s a mistake to promote Ulster Scots in isolation from the rest of the Scots language (or dialect, if anyone prefers using that term). Distinctive Ulster forms should be recognised, but the wider Scots language shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Jack2

    Cheers for the link Mike.

    I dont speak Scots but could still read and understand the language – does that make it a separate language?

    My main point is that public money is being pissed away in these politically correct ventures while we close A & E units.

  • Mike the First

    I think there are languages which are mutually intelligible, since they share a common root (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_intelligibility). Not sure exactly where the definition would lie, or indeed if there is a standard definition. Probably it’s partly political. Plenty of online debate on whether Scots should be defined as a language from what I can see.

    It’s true that public money is in increasingly limited supply and that “cultural projects” (along with others) should be considered accordingly. (That said, closing A&Es isn’t supposed to be a financially-base decision!)

  • Mick Fealty


    Can you clip the relevant text from Gaelsceal? My iPhone can’t read that software.