“Somebody had to make a stand for those that are struggling”

Whilst we’re waiting for the week to begin, Miriam Lord on how just now populist semiotics trumps bread and butter issues

When Mary Lou McDonald threw Gerry’s teddy bears out of the Sinn Féin pram on Thursday, she did no favours for her Dublin North Central colleague, Independent deputy Maureen O’Sullivan.

Maureen was due to represent the technical group at Leaders’ Questions, but she was prevented from speaking thanks to the antics of her fellow constituency TD.

She succeeded the late Tony Gregory in Leinster House and is known for her tireless work on behalf of the disadvantaged in Dublin’s north inner city. She had hoped to raise the issue of drastic funding cuts to the budgets of community groups working with people struggling to survive on the margins.

“Disappointing that my Leaders Questions on Communities in the Inner City was disrupted. Esp since the Water issue will be debated next week,” tweeted O’Sullivan from her office, as Mary Lou was taking to Facebook from her principled pew in the now silent chamber.

“Somebody had to make a stand for those that are struggling,” she wrote, surrounded by her fellow Sinn Féin TDs as they settled into their four-hour sit-in protest.

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