McNulty: “I love being the underdog and I think winning this seat is achievable.”

Interesting interview with SDLP Newry and Armagh candidate, Justin McNulty with political correspondent John Manley in today’s Irish News.

When Manley asked him about how his sporting profile would help his chances he said;

The GAA profile is a starting point only…Obviously it’s good to have a little recognition around the constituency but I’m going to do the work on the ground and on the floor in Westminster to help people have the quality of life they aspire to.

When Manley asked him whether if he lost the seat to Sinn Fein’s Micky Brady he would stand for the Assembly next year he wouldn’t bite simply telling Manley;

“I’m not looking beyond the May 7,”

Among his priorities if elected will be stemming emigration, campaigning to see Newry’s Daisy Hill hospital retained and enhanced, and standing up for farmers and rural communities.

Manley reports that McNulty knows that it will be a major challenge that will require “the best organisation, the best campaign team and the best canvassers”. Nonetheless he remains optimistic.

“Nobody said Armagh could win in 2002 — they kept reminding us it was Kerry we were playing and that we were the underdog,” he said.

You can read the full interview in today’s Irish News but could McNulty just pull this one off for the SDLP?

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  • Dan

    Would he have scurried off over the play park vote, like the other sdlp members?

  • Neil

    Manley reports that McNulty knows that it will be a major challenge that will require “the best organisation, the best campaign team and the best canvassers”. Nonetheless he remains optimistic.

    I wonder how he feels about the NCA? And is he looking forward to swearing fealty to his majesty (should he win)? Or even how he feels about his party’s utter hypocrisy over the playpark? Something tells me it’ll take some campaign team to offset that little lot.

    Better keep an eye on the register of interests as well, we know the good Doctor takes these things very seriously. Well, he would… Some animals are more equal than others after all.

  • Ciarán Dúnbarrach
  • mickfealty

    [sceptical head]Another question to which the answer is no.[/sceptical head]

  • mickfealty

    Another many player…

  • Joe_Hoggs

    To take this seat he will require the votes of many Unionists within the area, the SDLP’s antics in relation to the play park may have lost him these votes.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    What is the question Mick?

  • mickfealty

    Last line…

  • Neil

    Not really, just 3 questions and a factual observation regarding the hypocrisy of the SDLP.

  • Tacapall

    The moral indignation by some over the play park seems hypocritical when you consider the majority of those offended have no problems marching behind banners glorifying a mass murderer like Cromwell nor do they seem to accept that memorials to the UDR are offensive to nationalists or the awarding of a George Cross to the RUC, isn’t that a slap in the face for all those nationalist victims of RUC sponsored terrorism.

  • Jay

    Perhaps Betteridges Law applies to footers as well.

  • Ernekid

    McNulty might be a nice guy and could be a decent candidate but he’s on a road to nowhere on a SDLP ticket. It’s a shame that he’s been caught up in the death throes of a party that has no purpose or reason to exist any more.

  • Pete

    The majority of those offended? Complete nonsense. Every normal thinking person should be offended by naming a play park after an IRA man. Loyalist terrorism is equally as disgusting.

    Your post is complete whataboutery.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    #whatabouterry altert!!!!

  • Tacapall

    An Orangeman with a sense of humour WOW.

  • Tacapall

    Indeed lets brush under the carpet the elephant in the room called hypocrisy, your whataboutery comment is water off a ducks back Pete.

  • Pete

    I genuinely think most people opposed to the play park name would also equally oppose a Michael Stone play park. I certainly would.

  • Tacapall

    I suppose they would but in regards to hypocrisy we’re not talking about Michael Stone we’re talking about the lack of outcry and moral indignation about the honouring in city centers and awarding of medals to organisations who’s members not only were responsible for 100s of murders but also armed and controlled paramilitaries on both sides that carried out murder on their behalf.

  • Joe_Hoggs

    🙂

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Is a single Nationalist Socialist Republican party what you crave?

  • Ernekid

    I don’t crave anything Joe. I’m just observing (as a former SDLP voter) that the SDLP is muddled and directionless under its current leadership

  • banana man

    he played for Armagh don’t ye know!…..I feel the people of South Armagh will be hearing this alot in the next few months

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Former SDLP voter, was that one election or two? You were hardly SDLP dyed in the wool type.

  • Ernekid

    I voted SDLP in the past few elections since my first one in 2010. I was a member of the Youth Party and I did work experience with Tommy Gallaghers office for a summer. I gave up hope for the Party after the constant disappointments of Alisdair McDonnell’s leadership.

  • PaulT

    “Justin McNulty has more SDLP “dna” than Mickey Brady has SF “dna” (Justins father being a founding member of the Party and parents who have been canvassers for years).”

    what a pathetic small minded comment to make,

    there’s a SF councillor in Dublin, he moved over from the Congo a few years ago, I wonder what his opinion of the SDLP would be, wonder what the SDLP’s thoughts are on his DNA

  • Joe_Hoggs

    You would know Brendan then?

  • Ernekid

    Brendan who?

  • Joe_Hoggs

    Gallagher.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    could McNulty just pull this one off for the SDLP?

    It’s a steep hill to climb, to say the least. The SF vote is consistent at a bit under 19,000, around 41%, for the last three elections; the SDLP at a bit under 11,000 and around 23%. So it requires a 9% swing of SF voters to SDLP; or else attracting more than 8,000 who normally support Unionist parties; or a combination of both. I can’t remember a precedent for either of those ever happening in a Westminster election.

  • aor26

    Like a lot of people I struggle to see what the purpose of the S.D.L.P is nowadays.

    After the retirement of their indispensable leaders Hume & Mallon they have struggled in debates with their main competition; Sinn Fein. The Good Friday agreement was in a lot of respects the S.D.L.P’s baby and now that is achieved and we have a relatively peaceful society they do not stand for anything in particular. Because that was the S.D.L.P’s main objective throughout ‘the troubles’; getting a peaceful resolution.

    They are always referred to as a nationalist party but they certainly are not nationalist in the classic sense of the term. They seem to be a bunch of Catholics, whether practising Catholics or not, who don’t like Sinn Fein. And that is it. Vote for us because we aren’t Sinn Fein. Not particularly inspiring.

    Well they aren’t Unionists obviously. At least I hope not. They want a United Ireland except not as much as Sinn Fein. Presumably the key distinction is that they have different ideas about how to achieve a United Ireland but what those different ideas are is not clear.

    I remember a few months back the Doctor giving an interview with the newsletter and he informed the Unionist readership that Sinn Fein are a Stalinist party. What a load of nonsense Allister. Go read up on some Russian history because you know not what you are talking about.
    And then I got to thinking what was Allister’s intention by saying this to the Newsletter?? Unionists who hate Sinn Fein and who are reading this nonsense from Allister can then use it as ammunition to chuck at Sinn Fein
    ‘sure even the SDLP leader says you are so bad he calls you Stalinist,” they may think. And Unionists who fear Sinn Fein are even more fearful of them after reading that. So what’s the point – what was achieved ??

  • aber1991

    What is wrong with whataboutery?

  • aber1991

    Are YOU opposed to streets being named after anti-Catholic bigots like Twadell and Cromwell? Or bridges being named after Craigavon?

  • Nicholas Whyte

    Sure. But from my experience, motivating stay-at-home voters is much more difficult than persuading people who already vote for another party to switch; plus a voter who switches from your main rival effectively counts double (one more for you, one less for them) unlike a voter who previously has stayed at home!

  • Guest

    Its about all of those things.
    The alternative is not to bother at all.
    In part, this is a dress rehearsal for Assembly.

  • PaulT

    “For the record, a man from the Congo or woman from Poland has as much right to stand for an Irish political party such as SF and SDLP as I have.”

    But be prepared to get passed over by the SDLP should the daughter or son of a party member decide that they want to stand.

    Indeed one wonders why Mickey Brady is referred to as a “quintessential Newry man” on a Sinn Feéin website. Is that “pathetic and small minded”? I dont think so myself. But obviously you might.

    Party says candidate has deep roots in area, nope not a problem with me either.

    So back to my point

    “Justin McNulty has more SDLP “dna” than Mickey Brady has SF “dna” (Justins father being a founding member of the Party and parents who have been canvassers for years).”

    Why should that matter tyo anyone except his parents, I’ll be able to vote for Justin, if I wanted to. however if the only reason is that it’s the son’s turn to try to put his snout in the trough, than can’t see him getting my vote.

    In fact the whole thing is very Healy Rae, right down to the Parish Pump politics.

    Also to point out that the reasons he gave for wanting to be elected to the Commons is to campaign for local issues that are actually dealt with by Stormont.

    Although he probably has come up with the quote of the election

    “We shouldn’t name things after things in our past”

    Made even funnier as his selection is down to his parents …er….Past in the party

    Before counting how many votes he’s going to win by, any chance of hearing what he actually stands for?

    Or is asking the Prime Minister not to close Daisy Hill and to do more for the hard working families in the area the full extent of what he plans in return for £1,000,000.00

  • Zig70

    I would find it harder to see why SF are more popular. They are left wing to the point were they pay an industrial wage, they fall over every election in the south when pressed on economics, they deviate from Catholic teaching and have a history of association with paramilitary activity. You would say that if it wasn’t for the squeeze from unionist extremism then the garden variety of Catholic nationalist wouldn’t vote SF in a million years. Not to mention that they are divisive within nationalism and least likely to actually achieve the cohesion needed for a UI, though the lack of drive for it from any other party is a bigger factor. The main SF strength seems to be their organisational ability, the constant fuel supplied by unionism and the lack of a decent challenge.

  • tmitch57

    “But be prepared to get passed over by the SDLP should the daughter or son of a party member decide that they want to stand.”

    This is hardly unique to the SDLP–it is rather a common trait on the island and is quite common with Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and the DUP. Even Alliance had two brothers running the party at one point.

  • PaulT

    true, but it’s rarely presented as a reason to vote for the party/person as it was above.

    I grew up in Donegal during the FF Coughlan dynasty, honesty noone should be getting into that mess

  • aor26

    The payment of an average industrial wage to their employees is popular amongst many who vote Sinn Fein.
    They don’t really fall over every time they discuss economics down South – it is more a case that Adams’ had a poor performance in a pre election debate several years ago and the southern press remind people of this constantly. They have some capable people in Dail Éireann and probably more capable than their counterparts in Stormont.
    Also, deviating from Catholic teaching is very popular amongst many non-practising Catholics particularly the young. Attendance at Mass has fallen dramatically over the last 2 – 3 decades amongst Catholics. This society is much more secular than many may presume.

  • tmitch57

    Many well established political parties in the democratic West have evolved since their original purposes were fulfilled. The Republican Party in the U.S. began as an anti-slavery party, yet slavery in America was abolished about a decade after the party was founded, so it became the party of free enterprise and big business. The Democratic Party in the U.S. began to protect skilled white workers in the North and slavery in the South. Slavery is long gone and the party spends more time defending the rights of minorities than of the white working class.

    The SDLP originated to fight anti-Catholic discrimination in NI and to work towards joint rule for NI as a way station for a united Ireland. Discrimination has largely been eliminated through legislation and neither the unionists nor the two governments are really keen on joint rule let alone a united Ireland in the short term. The SDLP went back and forth between mandatory power sharing and trying to persuade London to force the unionists into a united Ireland. They finally got the latter in the GFA. SF, like the Palestinian leadership, is now trying to convince its followers that what they couldn’t accomplish through armed struggle they will accomplish through the womb. If SF ever gets into power in the Republic that will go further than anything else in innoculating Northern nationalists against the desire for a united Ireland in the short term.