First Belfast with Gerry Kelly. Then Derry with Martina Anderson. So, now the junior minister’s job comes back to Belfast in the shape of Jennifer McCann. Everything nicely balanced out between the two big centres of Nationalism in Northern Ireland.
For Sinn Fein this is the party appointment par excellence. All three of Sinn Fein’s junior ministers at OFMdFM have been former IRA volunteers. Ms McCann has the added value of being one of Gerry Adams’ former colleagues in West Belfast. And, like Martina and Gerry she’s an ex prisoner.
Unlike the resignation of Martin there’s no financial gain for the party here since its essentially shuffling the same seats, so the party will take the same cut from Jennifer’s salary that it took from Martina’s and Gerry’s before her. Martina will asked to give the party exactly what Bairbre before her.
And the party’s considerable and two state funded infrastructure will follow the representative as required.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty