Ex Sinn Fein Councillor’s stormy valedictory to Newry and Mourne

The other thing required of a politician is a thick skin, both with the electors and within the twists, turns and machinations of party whips.

I’d heard of Councillor Brendan Curran’s stormy exit from Newry and Mourne Council earlier in the week, but was reluctant to blog it without a clear record of what he actually said. You can judge it for yourself from the video.

Curran was critical to Sinn Fein’s early successes in local democracy n Newry and in no way fits the profile of a Republican dissident. In his speech he makes several apologies to other former SF councillors for his part in attacking them on their exit.

The exchange you can hear at the beginning is between Curran and Mickey Ruane of Sinn Fein, who quickly withdraw all their councillors from the meeting in an effort to get what Curran says struck from the record.

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  • Catcher in the Rye

    Why exactly did Curran quit ? […moderated…]

    Curran in his days before he was a councillor was what, I suspect, people would now call a “senior and influential republican”. In that light it was interesting to hear Henry Reilly pay him a grudging tribute.

  • Stephen Murney

    Brendan’s regrets are interesting. Particularly how Davy Hyland and his family were treated when he left. However when Davy stood in the election several years later Brendan practically led a one man crusade to demonise and slander him on social media. Which failed miserably. Yes it’s true Davy and his family were treated badly by Sinn Fein. When Davy was de-selected in 2006 i was a Sinn Fein Member and delegate at the Sinn Fein convention in the Ti Chulainn centre in Mullaghbawn where the de-selection took place. I had voting rights at this convention. On my way to the convention i received a phone call from a senior member of the movement, this person instructed me who i was to vote for, and that under no uncertain terms was i to vote for Davy Hyland. This persons exact words were “This is coming from the top”. When i reached the Ti Chulainn centre another prominent Sinn Fein member approached me when i was signing in, and asked “did you get your phone call?” i said yes and he replied “well you know what to do then”. How many others received the same phone call ordering them what way to vote in what should have been a democratic process within the Sinn Fein party???? The Sinn Fein election convention in which Davy Hyland was de-selected was fixed and rigged. Mickey Brady’s elevation within Sinn Fein was flawed from the outset.

  • Turgon

    This is clearly an area and a subject I am not an expert on but it also seems clear that there is considerable dissent within SF in Newry. It is in that context that the DUP / UUP pact in Newry and Armagh should be judged.

    Now self evidently extremely few / no ex SF voters will switch to vote unionist but with a good campaign from the SDLP and a good united unionist campaign it will put pressure on SF.

    That is most unlikely to prevent a Sinn Fein victory. However, it will force the party to devote resources that it would otherwise be able to use in other seats.

    Sinn Fein is the richest and probably best organised / disciplined party in NI but its resources are finite. As such forcing them to fight harder than usual in Newry and Armagh will help unionism elsewhere.

    One of the aims of a political party is to reduce the options open to its opponents and make them work harder for their gains.

    As I have said before a “Verdun” strategy forcing SF to fight hard even in their heart land areas is useful to unionism.

  • Glenn Clare

    I can’t believe that the shinners/provos hid sexual abuse claims. Did this former councilor inform the PSNI of these allegations. Because time after time the shinners/provos keep telling, anyone who has information to go to the police. That then brings in another question did the shinners/provos bring that information to the police rather than view it as negative publicity.

  • james

    SF seems somewhat of a sinister dictatorship internally, if this is anything to go by. Interesting how they treat even their own if they dare to disagree. A rather stark warning.

  • chrisjones2

    Its like an episode of EastEnders without the class. Family disputes are always so unedifying but sometimes so illuminating

    He seems to have had extensive contact with Stakeknife. What for one wonders?

    Then we have SF blocking the investigation into the abuse of hundreds of children in local schools over many years. If that is true it is utter dynamite. Who was this priest? Why was he not exposed? What else did he do? Who ordered the cover up as stakeknife was a Belfast man, not local. And if Stakeknife was involved, did the Brits know and what did they do? That is potentially bigger than Kincora.

    And who was the guy drafted in from West Belfast to sort out Newry SF …and why?

    Still at least he stood his ground and said his piece while the rest of SF scuttled away as ordered like frightened rodents

    Perhaps he should steer clear of haysheds for a while until tempers have cooled

  • chrisjones2

    Interesting re these phone calls instructing him from ‘the top’ on how to vote. Sounds almost like the DUP!!!

    So just how high did the orders go? God? Gerry? (in that order )

  • james

    Evidently no matter how much of an iron fist one rules with, sooner or later the chickens come home to roost. Gadaffi, too, seemed untouchable at one time.

  • Makhno

    John, from his welfare rights days, M Brady would be well known in S Armagh but not in Armagh City. I imagine he has a profile there now, post election to Assembly, or should have. I live in the constituency and have never heard of J McNulty, but I’m not a GAA head. The GAA connection will bring some recognition, but this is perhaps being overplayed by the SDLP.

  • Surveyor

    I think Curran is alluding to a Stakeknife like character, not the actual Stakeknife as was.

  • Glenn Clare

    This is because Sinn Fein/IRA are fascists.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    I’m confused. You said you were told to vote for Hyland, yet he was deselected ?

  • james

    Hard to disagree with that.

  • Stephen Murney

    You should read it again

  • Joe Harper

    Brendan and others turned a blind eye and a deaf ear, when former Cllr Martin Cunningham and other members from the Mournes were hounded and blacklisted. They played the cute hoors role. To stay wearing the emperors clothing and self ego. Until it no longer suited. Croc tears are really very dry

  • Zeno

    I remember the days when it was the sharpest political party in Western Europe.

  • Robin Keogh

    This fella seems very angry, what sparked his resignation and this outburst? Can anybody enlighten me?

  • Makhno

    Brady would have been building up a profile outside of Newry even as an MLA I’m sure, and once his Westminster candidacy was mooted, I’d guess this went into overdrive. He was elected late in the count on his first assembly run, and would have seen the need to vote manage outside of Newry, given the bite taken out of the SF vote there by Hyland.

    I was at the recent anti-cuts rally in Newry and missed the first 10 minutes, so maybe he was heckled then, I didn’t hear anything. I remember some rumblings on dissident and fellow traveller websites that he wasn’t visible during the Hunger Strikes and accusations that he was…gasp… a Sticky… I’m not sure which is the worst insult in their eyes!

    In this election he can at least counter with an oustanding record on welfare rights and see how the party line on welfare goes down, risky enough, I know. But I’m not sure what McNulty will push, after a discussion about football.
    Megan Fearon was Murphy’s replacement btw.

  • hugh mccloy

    Among other issues more sex abuse scandals concerning sinn fein, are you not the SF politics student ? Maybe you should learn more about a party you claim to support

  • Robin Keogh

    Hugh, I live in South Wicklow so I dont get a lot of news regarding SF in the six counties. I am not a SF politics student. I am an Irish citizen who happens to be studying politics at the moment and who also happens to be a SF supporter. I make it my buiness to pick up as much info as I can about our political culture and whats going on, my main focus at the moment is on the Southern Governments policies and their opponents reaction to it. Like yourself, I depend on the media to inform me about a lot of whats going on and there has been nothing in the Southern media about the above issue. Hence the fact that I asked the question which clearly shows I want to know more about the party I support…unless you missed that most obvious tell tale sign.

  • Glenn Clare

    The allure of power, is overwhelming and corrupting. I hope those sexual abuse allegations are invested not by the shinners/provos this time, but by the PSNI or NCA. There is something rotten at the core of the shinners/provos but then again most of us already knew that.
    I hope this aversion to negative publicity comes back to them ten fold. But then again it appears that no amount of child sexual abuse and cover up’s involving this organization seems to effect them or their electorate. An electorate that takes offence at the most minor issue.

    They and their supporters/electorate are nothing more than sanctimonious hypocrites.

  • Glenn Clare

    Fascists.

  • Glenn Clare
  • mac tire

    Yes, and one of those who stuck the knife in Davy’s back was Brendan Curran, who for the last two elections in Newry received the least amount of votes of all those standing for SF. Which is a damning performance considering how long he has been standing and his long standing links with SF.
    Even standing under the SF banner didn’t stop increasing voters of Newry rejecting him.

  • pearse mcaleese

    there you go again chris,attack,attack,attack,do you ever get of the topic,your really starting to look like an anti sinn fein troll!

  • aber1991

    So also did the Unioonists.

  • aber1991

    An Ulster Protestant has a hell of a cheek calling anyone a “fascist.” The sly vixen notices her own stink first.

  • aber1991

    “But then again it appears that no amount of child sexual abuse and cover up’s involving this organization seems to effect them or their electorate.”

    Very true. Sinn Fein is the party which the enemies of Catholics hate most.

  • james

    Whom?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Interesting analysis Turgon, with West Belfast in the bag the Belfast SF Machine are going full throttle in North Belfast, I can see a few Belfast accents starting to appear at door steps in Newry and Armagh over the next coming month from the SF hardcore brigade after all they have another Orangeman to fight !

  • Glenn Clare

    Who mentioned Roman Catholics, here??? You know nothing of my past for all you know you could be chatting to a victim. Don’t presume to know who I hate.

    Just for the record let me put your tiny mind to rest here. Any member of the Protestant Unionist or Loyalist community or the establishment. Who have been involved in child sexual abuse or cover up’s, should be investigated. All files should be handed over and a full public inquiry should be held.

  • Glenn Clare

    This is the second time you have played the man and not the ball in this thread and the man being me. Try concentrating on the thread. As for this fox I must say anyone who rides to the defence of those who have covered up child sexual abuse and names play parks after terrorists it’s rank hypocrisy. That quote from Bobby Sands needs to be rewritten from laughter to tears.

  • chrisjones2

    First may I remind you that its not wrong to oppose sinn fein.

    Second I am anti SF as I think they are a fascist party masquerading as something else

    Third – and more important – this SF insider alleges that ‘hundreds’ of children were abused and SF covered it up. Do you support that? If its true will you resign from SF? Who was the priest? Was he caught? Is he still abusing?

    If those issues don’t both you that’s fine but I suggest you need to reassess your character not mine

  • chrisjones2

    …..thats a very racist stance,. You imply that Catholics are relaxed about pedophilia. That’s disgraceful nonsense

  • Kevin Breslin

    How do you know how much he fits the profile of a republican dissident? Republican dissidents are individuals with only what the general community call republican dissidence in common. Many dissidents are peace process supporters but dissent against executive/Stormont nationalism.

  • pearse mcaleese

    chris unlike you i dont believe everything i hear or read,even when it is about someone i dislike or would like to believe it about and then sling it at them for my own political gains,Ashley Judd an American actress is at present testing the waters in regard to pressing charges against people who are on the internet launching personal attacks on people and for slandering.Hopefully she sets a precident,so as sites like this and people like yourself are a little less free with their slander!

  • chrisjones2

    What slander are you suggesting i prepetrated? When ? Where? Examples?

    Ashley Judd is rightly pursing those who lied about her. You just called me a troll. You are remarkably free with your allegations so shall I sue you? You accused Mick of being motivated by ‘hate’ on this blog. Should he sue you?

    If you are going to continue to commentate on the internet I suggest, frankly, that you learn some manners, understand the law and realise that not everyone wears deep green tinted glasses. Otherwise people will treat you with contempt

  • chrisjones2

    he did seem to call him Steak knife though the timings look wrong for it to be the Stakeknife

  • chrisjones2

    He/ she is just a troll who posts to provoke. Ignore

  • pearse mcaleese

    like wise.

  • barnshee

    “a quintessential Newry man”

    On DLA?
    The third or fourth generation of a long line who escaped employment? etc subsisting on (the hated) Brit handouts?

    How well does he match the model?

  • pearse mcaleese

    your dreaming,sdlp are history after this election!

  • chrisjones2

    You accused me of defamation. Any evidence?

  • Surveyor

    Are they any different from any other Political Party? The DUP were quick enough to jettison Paul Berry after his little “incident”.

  • Zeno

    According to the Sunday World today another child sex scandal is about to break involving a high profile Sinn Fein member from the Beechmount area.
    Anyone hear about this?

  • barnshee

    “I dont reply to anonymous sectarian comments.”

    The comments apply to ANYONE who fits the bill
    (where there are intellectual collosi with exensive success in academia and /or business careers involved I stand corrected

  • james

    Uhmm…yes actually they are. Few political parties are backed/fed by a private illegal army.

  • chrisjones2

    Oh ….its suddenly very quiet in here.

    Has mommy taken your dongle to stop you getting into bother?

  • chrisjones2

    Upper class Prods — you say Unionist with a Malone Road (or Alliance Party) accent and it comes out as Unioonist

  • chrisjones2

    as every SF troll has alleged since 1984

    I bet you believed Marty when be prosmied a United Ireland by 2016

  • barnshee

    My reply refers to ANYONE (ie prod or mick) who fits the bill and is by definition thus non sectarian

  • Granni Trixie

    Agree. I have been disappointed when people I know as independant thinkers join SF to become clone like in their responses to events before long. Will be interesting to see if Mairtin O’M for instance makes any difference to SF stance on issues such as child abuse.

  • aber1991

    Is sexual abuse of children the ONLY abuse of children of which you disapprove?

  • pearse mcaleese

    who do you believe chris?If someone had of told you fifteen years ago he would be 2 nd in command at stormont ,you would have said they were smoking crack.It might not be 2016,but certainly by 2026 it will be a done deal.Just how will you deal with that .

  • james

    The trick seems to be that every problem is blamable on an external force, in this case the British generally and by handy extension anyone who is not of the Republican mindset, or at least willing to bend to its will. Thus, every crime committed by those inside the circle is excusable and every dissenting voice can be dismissed without analysis as conspiracy. Very dangerous indeed. See also ISIS.

  • james

    No doubt with a faintly apologetic air. Everything, after all, is always our fault.

  • chrisjones2

    Fifteen years ago was 2000. It was then already clear that SF would take seats in Stormont and that Marty or Gerry would be DFM. Indeed it was British Policy to make it so and keep the green sheep – like you I suggest – fully in the pen grazing on the largesse of British Grass . And my how the policy worked. So enjoy your success and freedom as a British Citizen represented by a leader sitting in a British Assembly elected ina British election and whose bills are signed into law by her most gracious Majesty

    Ah another ten years to a UI then then. Three years ago it was 2016. That new date is handy. Marty and most of the SF Leadership will have retired to Donegal by then. Just 10 years of the British jackboot as administered by SF to endure then! But wait!! Your problem is that your analysis is so deeply sectarian or naive that you just count catholic voters, Let’s have a referendum and see how many of them and the Prods actually WANT a united ireland.

    I await the result with interest but while waiting you may ponder why the restrictions on when a referendum can be held were inserted at the insistence of SF who politically want to have the concept of a referendum but only where it cannot legally be held. Ask yourself why that might be

  • Paddy Reilly

    Child Molestation is the new Witch scare. It is quite easy for the right kind of scaremonger to allege that ‘hundreds’ of children have been abused, yet such people aren’t even able to name the children, let alone provide dates and location. Only the molester could know the number of his crimes.

    An allegation that ‘hundreds’ of children have been abused is therefore good evidence that none have, and authorities will always end up dismissing such ludicrous allegations, leading them to be accused of a ‘cover-up’. If someone comes forward with an allegation that one child has been molested and produces the child, then that is something worthy of investigation.

    Sinn Féin is a political party and thus not the proper body for investigating such complaints at all.

  • pearse mcaleese

    chris you can laugh and sneer all you want.prior to the gfa,i was a british citizen stuck in a british ruled north of Ireland with the prospect of another 50 years of war.Now look at it,i might still be in a british run state,but at least we now have a say,and whether you think it or not,we will get a united Ireland.My prospects have gotten a way better in the last 15 years,while yours have gotten a whole lot worse.So take your smug little bigoted pipe and smoke it and stick to your safe little pro unionists debates here on sick micks page,your wee ulster as you know it is done for!

  • chrisjones2

    Having a different view to you on a United Ireland isnt bigotry. It is a different view.

    “Sick Mick” – oh dear oh dear. I could debate with you my friend but I dont want to feed your obsession. You seem to have lost all sense and perspective

    I suggest you take a break, think what you want to say / achieve on here and then perhaps come back

  • chrisjones2

    I would personally love to see SF in power in the Republic.

    The reaction of US Business leaders to Saint Gerry’s St Patrick’s Day jaunts were instructive. It seems the trampolining dog was assessed to have more business acumen than SF as a Party.

    I reckon that every year they have in office in the South will put reunification back by at least 5 years as they reduce the state to a corrupt basket-case and foreign investment flies away (hopefully North)

    Vota Siinn Fein – Vota Penury

  • pearse mcaleese

    chris,your smugness is your undoing! have a good day mo chara!

  • Reader

    I’m always intrigued by how wonderfully impressive Sinn Fein representatives are in the eyes of supporters; right up until the moment they break ranks. Then it turns out they were awful all along.
    For future reference, are there any other Sinn Fein reps that you regard as unworthy, or would you rather reserve the dirt until it is required?

  • mac tire

    You assume too much, Reader. I have voted SF in the past in local elections. I never put a number beside Mr Curran’s name. I wasn’t alone (his vote totals backs that up).
    Nothing to do with being in SF, being out of SF or being beside SF.
    Your point to me is just not true. How true it is of others, I have no idea.

  • pearse mcaleese

    whos on your side teehee?God ,the oo,the brits?now theres a laugh,they would drop you in a split second,only it would look bad! Look at your little northern state over the last 25 years,slowly whittled away,and your unionist buddies despised and seen for what they are all over the world! Id rather die a shinner that live as a unionist!