Mary McArdle to leave post

The BBC are reporting that the special advisor to Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin, the convicted murderer, Mary McArdle, is to leave her post “soon.” This is apparently as part of normal party policy to rotate staff. Ann Travers the sister of Mary Travers (McArdle’s victim who was murdered whilst leaving church in 1984) has apparently said on Twitter: “Just heard, Mary McArdle has stepped aside and moved to another job for SF, Thrilled, wish she had done it in May and now hope she will tell.”

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  • damon

    What was the point then? Just to show that they could and will appoint whoever they like?

  • Mark

    I would hope this rotation system is standard practice and wasn’t made because of pressure of any kind . Mary Travers should let Mary McArdle get on with her life now . Ms Travers has paid her price and sarcastic comments on Twitter from Mary Travers don’t help .

  • Mick Fealty


  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Very classy Mark.

    I always found this murder implored some bizarre logic for its justification.

    Mr Travers attempted murder, and the consequent murder of his daughter, were a result of him being a catholic who helped administer British rule in Ireland by his position as a judicial magistrate.

    27 years later Mary McArdle gets a public post working for her Sinn Fein minister to help her, yes…, administer British rule in Ireland.

    If the passage of time has taught us nothing else, surely this example highlights in the starkest of terms imaginable, how futile the provo campaign (as well as every other tragic loss of life) actually was.

    Well done Ann, your impassioned campaign has got us to this point and no amount of “rotational policy” or other spin will say otherwise, and I salute you.

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Mary sorry# (I read Mick’s post immediatey above and it put me off)

  • Mark

    Ann …excuse me for mixing up you and your sister’s name .

    Charlie re my classy post , looking back now I may have been insensitive however Mary McArdle seems to have taken the brunt of everyone’s anger about the troubles and I don’t think that’s fair .

    You want classy Charlie , why not check some of the names Ms McArdle has been called since this episode first gained momentum. .

  • If SF is as cynical as it should be, it would ditch Caral and appoint Martina Anderson as Arts Minister soon, just in time for the (UK) City of Culture celebrations.

  • PaulT

    what if she is co-opted as an MLA

  • dwatch

    “what if she is co-opted as an MLA”

    Interesting question Paul T, likewise whats to stop SF standing Mary McCardle for office (local council, Assembly or for Westminister) at the next elections in 2014?

  • The appointment process for the next advisor will be subject to scrutiny. To quote DFP’s advise on these matters:

    Using the job description and the person specification, the Minister should decide how wide the trawl for candidates should be. One way to achieve this would be for the Minister to invite a number of people of varying backgrounds and opinions to suggest names of those they thought might meet the Minister’s stated criteria from which the Minister will make his or her final selection. How a pool is achieved will vary from minister to Minister (public advertisement is another option, especially for an expert adviser) but the key is that the pool should be broadly based.< .em>

  • Granni Trixie

    As well as obvious reasons of getting SF out of a corner after making this mistake, could it be that Mary McArdle was proving not to be very good at her job. For instance, would there be any connection between the Advisors “advice” and the gaff in the wording of the letter to arms length bodies? This leads to a general point which is that given the high financial cost and that Advisor jobs are not advertised,surely it is reasonable to expect that any Minister can explain why they chose a particular individual. What expertise or added value do they bring to the table? Apart from being a trusted member of SF (with IRA background) why was Mary McArdle originally chosen?

    I also think that because the public seem to be living with ex paramiliataries in elected positions, SF underestimated the extend of feeling their choice would galvanise in this case. It certainly got the Minister off to a bad start. Have SF learnt a lesson? Watch this space.

  • “help her, yes…, administer British rule in Ireland”

    Charlie, their have been a lot of changes in governance here since Mary Travers was murdered in 1984; British and Irish rule is probably a more accurate description since 1985. For example, Dublin civil servants have been involved in policing decisions since that date via Maryfield and, later, Windsor House in Bedford Street. You may also have noted that UK has been dropped from the 2013 City of Culture title in this week’s joint statement by Cameron and Kenny.

  • Mick Fealty

    Or that she is good at her job and they are moving her to Leinster House?

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru


    I totally agree that there have been many changes in all that time, and we have more in common than perhaps some of us care to let on. You’re reinforcing the very point I was making.

    I was stating that now SF employ McArdle in a role in government secure in the knowledge that they are still working day and daily to bring about a united ireland.

    Good for them, but what have other nationalists been doing all this time?

  • Charlie, I just wanted to point out that ‘British rule’ was transformed into ‘British and Irish rule’ back in 1985. The SDLP has availed of that unaccountable joint administration since then – whilst at the same time calling for, er, greater accountability in policing!

    I wouldn’t have known about it if an SDLP elected representative hadn’t drawn it to my attention; Dublin civil servants provided additional pieces of the jig-saw. I’m a little surprised that Unionist representatives haven’t put down a few exploratory questions!