Irish Labour leader puts Mairia Cahill forward for Seanad byelection

Labour haven’t lost any time in trying to fill Jimmy Hart’s lately vacated seat in the upper house in Dublin. Mairia Cahill is the surprise proposal from the party’s leadership. The rest of the party has to ratify her candidacy, although given they awarded her their Jim Larkin Prize earlier in the year that looks like a formality.

Joan Burton why she’s been nominated:

Burton on Cahill nomination

Cutting indecently to the realpolitik of it all, Cahill be hard for the other parties in the Seanad to oppose. She’s been feted by both the Taoiseach and Micheal Martin of Fianna Fail as something of a national hero not only for telling her own story, but in her advocacy for others who’ve found themselves in the same position.

If successful Labour, who have been eaten alive in their Dublin heartlands in last year’s local government elections by Sinn Fein would have a powerful means to push back on that party’s weakness in southern politics. Definitely a story worth keeping a watchful eye on.

To coin an old phrase she hasn’t gone away you know?

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

  • Kevin Breslin

    It would be a good choice, how affiliated Maria would be with the Irish Labour Party and whether she’d be willing to take the job would be in question.

  • Gingray

    Great pick, it’s good to see people from the north in the Seanad, and Maíria seems quite clued in.

    Not sure I would say it’s “a powerful means to push back”. Profile of Seanad is still incredibly low. It can be a starting point for a career as Doherty showed, do you think that’s what she would want?

    Cynically I am sure some voters in the south will see this as nothing more than a gimmick, which would be a pity.

  • mickfealty

    All three big parties are keen on damaging SF, that’s a given surely?

  • Gingray

    Not sure I agree about Fine Gael, they hate them but surely prefer two competing rivals to a stronger Fianna Fáil.

    But defo Fianna Fáil and Labour. Been attacking Sinn Fein for a while, including around Cahill, with minimal effect.

  • Zeno

    “Open forum, or are you against free speech.”

    As I said I wasn’t talking to you.

    Blueshirt? My family fought with the 15th International Brigade.

    Frank Ryan was a distant relative. Who are you? A shinner sheep?

  • eireanne

    wonder how any local labour party activist feels? someone who was hoping for the big prize after years of committment to party ideals and principles?

  • Malus Ultor

    Ahhh, ok, so only the person with whom you are replying to is permitted to answer your rather inane comment.

    That’s fine.

    You’re up late. Weekends are great aren’t they.

    Mao Zedong is a far out relation of my own.

    You might have heard of him? Related on my mothers side.

    A man with a very sharp wit, i’m told. I never met him. Lived across the water – don’t have a boat and i can’t swim.

    He’s dead now anyway. I wish him eternal rest and good tidings.

  • Zeno

    Yeah, thought so. That all you got?
    By the way I don’t need to hide my posts, that’s why I had to ask who you were. I know now.

  • Malus Ultor

    God for you. You will sleep well tonight oh wise one, in the comfort of the knowledge of ‘knowing’

    “That all you got?

    You sound like a disenfranchised American youth with a bad attitude.

    I blame South Park.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    SF is like that big blob from The fifth Element: the more you blast it the stronger it becomes.

    Haven’t you people learnt anything?!!!

    If you want to hurt SF don’t attack them outright, just clip at their heels forever and ever-so-gingerly highlight their lack of achievement. Eventually the message will seep through…

    SF is a party born in the trenches, lobbing grenades at them won’t work.

  • Zeno

    We won’t know that until after an election. The last one wasn’t good for them and it looks like the vote has stagnated at best. In 6 months or so the damage will be quantifiable.

  • Zeno

    Release the #shinnerdrones, someone on the internet mention that girl again.

  • Gingray

    But you do have form for editing them and being less than honest with the facts.

    Still glad to see the same old trolls failing to add anything to the topic at hand.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    Congratulations to you Mairia, and hopefully Ann Travers will follow on, supporting victims of heinous crimes -truth justice accountability. What is required is more families lost lives come forward stand up for their rights. It is a disgrace that during PIRA, PSF dirty war did not allow anyone go to authorities child crimes rape child abuse. Many were accused of being infromers touts-told that they had to wait until their war was over.what was done during the troubles to men women children babies was evil.
    Civil rights was never about taking a life, never about covering up heinous child crimes.
    Those who ordered planned used young ones do their dirty work for power & control are pure fasict dictators. God help our generations if they take over!

  • Gingray

    Am Ghobsmacht
    Couldn’t agree more – Sinn Fein have made the calculation in the south that the voters they want just don’t care, and even arresting the leader before the euros last year didn’t harm them.

    People are not stupid and this sort of attack achieves little except bolster people who already hate Sinn Fein.

    Much more effective is to challenge them on policy in the south, from the bipolar approach to water charges to their tax and spend economic strategy.

    A party destined for 15% next spring!

  • Gingray

    “That girl”

    She’s a grown woman Zeno, and has a name. Maíria Cahill. Give her some credit here, rather than simply a prop for you to use to attack sinn fein.

    Some people are rubbing their hands in glee over this, forgetting that something horrible happened.

    I’ve no doubt you would care if this had happened to members of another party…


    Exploiters going to exploit.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Interesting call which my head says is the right move for Mairia as I had previously posted that she did not have to box her first fight in her opponents backyard but my heart now says it would be some scrap if she ran West Belfast in the next Assembly Elections. Her topping the West Belfast Poll and (her transfers) reducing SF to 3 MLAs in their heartland constituency would be some victory ! “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” ! and the Boxing Belfast Roar would hit the roof !

  • Ulick

    Topping the poll? She’d do well to beat the last attention seeker to contest West Belfast on a “human rights” ticket. The bold Liam Kennedy managed a respectable 0.47% of the first preference vote in 2005.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    5.5K Tops the Poll Ulick. I think Mairia would also bring out a slice of that 44% of electors who do not vote in West Belfast no more !

  • mickfealty

    Ben, who are you referring to? (What’s with all this play the man rather than the ball crap that’s come up suddenly?)

  • mickfealty

    You got a problem reading and following the rules Malus/Zeno?

  • mickfealty

    I’m not sure Labour have that option. They are getting eaten, but any turn around will depend on fighting back on several fronts, not just one. Ms Cahill won’t turn the whole game around, but she’s a good pick as Gingray says.

    One, I cannot think of another candidate who is capable of keeping the seat for Labour in these (or any other) circumstances. And two, she’s an articulate voice who I expect can attack SF on the home front (and not just on the party’s beastly record on child sexual abuse).

    If the behaviour on this thread is anything to go by her very presence in LH should be enough to unnerve a few of her SF contemporaries who work there, both front and back of house..

  • mickfealty

    Rewriting history are we? The last election was historically good for SF. Martin pushed it up several points within months and they hit 22% in the Euros last year. 15% is what they got in the locals so I’d say it’s realistic if the figures don’t move towards the bigger parties in the meantime.

  • mickfealty

    Yes, I noticed that too… Simon Harris yesterday:

    “Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness has left the door open to a possible Fianna Fáil-Sinn Féin coalition. He said on Saturday with Claire Byrne that the only barrier to a coalition between the two parties is a supposed coolness on the part of Sinn Féin.

    “This backs up the views of Bobby Alyward who said last month that Fianna Fáil members would like to enter Government with Sinn Féin as they come from the same republican background.”

  • Gingray

    “Mr Martin has again emphatically ruled out any FF-SF coalition arguing that Sinn Fein’s economic policies threatened jobs and foreign investment. He also raised the temperature in the debate by saying he objected to SF’s method of doing politics, resorting on occasion to threats and intimidation.”

    I think it will be difficult for Martin to make the deal, but it does TDs no harm talking it up if they want second preference votes. All politics being local.

    RTE and Irish times seem convinced neither Fianna Fáil or Sinn Fein want to be in government next time which is crazy if true.

    I just don’t see Cahill in the Seanad being a vote winner unless she runs as a TD.

    In herself, a great candidate, and hopefully she could get elected and raise awareness of abuse against females, and dodgy cover ups. But will this hurt Sinn Fein – doubtful.

  • Gingray

    Are you suggesting 15%, give or take, as their limit?

    If so I would agree

  • mickfealty

    Neither want junior government partner status, which is merely an expression of political sanity. Agree with you though.

    Aylward and McGuinness both need to come home in CWKK, so maybe they are coming together (for once) and putting up a local charm campaign on that account. Stranger things have happened at sea.

  • mickfealty

    Ah, but she’s not running there though. The Kennedy campaign was pretty sotto voce. I was at one of Laurence’s pressers at the Europa and was about the only ‘member of the press’ there. The campaign thought it was on too early, but I suspect no one else was interested.

    Laurence’s academic work is important, but he doesn’t resonate with a wider audience as a political figure. Ms Cahill has but only over her own case. This departure will be an acid test of her potential as a political figure in the broader sense and not just as a central figure in her own story…

  • Gingray

    Nature of localism in politics in the south! They are both from same end of the constituency, no? I actually like that element particularly in the 5 seaters.

  • mickfealty

    Right now, probably. Locals are the most reliable test of strength across the country. Economic recovery doesn’t offer the best conditions for the conversations they’re pushing.

  • Granni Trixie

    I don’t know anything about Labour down south but Mairia Cahill would be an asset to any party or institution – guts galore, extremely intelligent communicator and bringing with her a less usual body of knowledge.

    So it is encouraging to observe from comments below that many contributers see her as more than an anti SF symbol. Good luck to her.

  • mickfealty

    SF, I think, have Carlow largely to themselves..

  • Zeno

    No, I meant to say “in the North.”

  • Zeno

    Do you have immunity from the Play the Ball Rule?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    Yeah agree about the acid test Mick but believe that Mairia has done a lot of spade work in that regard over the last year to go into politics, glad to see that it has livened up the political arena ! Correct choice of Dublin but would have loved to have seen Belfast – but then I am bias !

  • Malus Ultor

    Not at all.

    Getting attacked for replying to a post is quite unusual on this forum, As the old saying goes.

    I will not stand idly by when it occurs.

  • chrisjones2

    I think she will be a breath of fresh air and realism

    I disagree bitterly with much of her politics but hey that’s good for debate. We now need another 20 of her from both sides in de Nurth to start to break the hegemony and mysogyny of the big parties

  • Gingray

    Oh! Hardly a hotbed of irish republicanism down the years, boundary changes have had an impact

  • Granni Trixie

    But that can change – look at PBP in WB?

  • Gingray

    Defo fresh air, so I really do agree with you.

    But remember it’s the Seanad, which is appointees or individuals elected from a really narrow electorate. It’s incredibly low profile, which is unfortunate. There have even been unionist members.

    Mick could be right – by throwing everything at it, this could be one small part in changing perceptions, we shall see.

    I’d love to see more like her and some sort of civic assembly in northern Ireland with teeth.

    Btw – why 20?

  • Granni Trixie

    This is a common and human initial reaction in most parties. The telling thing however is do disgruntled activists then go On to put party before self Interest and work to get the selected person elected.

    I also observe that in NI with the growth of professionalisation in politics there is impatience with party stalwarts with a sense of entitlement at the expense of merit or strategic advance.

    If only cultural change in the field were echoed at leadership level.

  • Kevin Breslin

    I don’t think Maria has the constituency experience to run for Dáil Éireann. Going for Senate would allow her to boost her profile on other issues rather than abuse against females. I do feel that if Sinn Féin behaved like some of their supporters on this forum calling her a narcissist for example, then Sinn Féin would hurt themselves … And for no reason whatsoever.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Mick, it is worth noting though that Sinn Féin do have experience of being junior coalition partners as both third and second party in the six counties.

  • Mister_Joe

    Very brave of Ms. Cahill to do this. Unfortunately, she may suffer more verbal abuse. I can only hope it doesn’t compound her deeply felt justifiable hurt.

  • Gingray

    But of course!

  • Gingray

    No. It helps that I can substantiate my claims with fact.

  • Gingray

    Called that one correctly! They are awful and Adams needs to call them out.

    Sinn Fein would be better off supporting her candidacy, don’t think they can win it, so address it head on.

    But they won’t.

  • Granni Trixie

    Sorry Mick – assume you are getting Laurence and Liam Kennedy mixed up – the latter used the election to gain a platform for drawing attention to punishment beatings and the former – not sure if he was independent or not -but was quite a while ago.

  • Ulick

    Just deleting comments now that you don’t like Mick. At least you’ve given up on any pretence of applying your house rules fairly or even allowing open debate.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Surely this is a challenge on policy, Gingray, policy on woman’s issues (“women in an Ireland of equals”) , on the sincerity of SF to champion the oppressed. I quote from An Phoblacht:

    “Adams referred to a lady from Ballyfermot he had met recently at an exhibition. She had said to him that male authority figures, and she counted Gerry Adams among them, needed to make it clear that violence against women is wrong. “I want to say that now, strongly and firmly,” he said.”

    While this was from a while back, 2002, the policy still remains front line SF policy, and is still presented from platforms that Adams himslf also speaks from.

    Having such ideas represented to the public with a continuing party president who must represent the very opposite of this in respect of his actions towards both Maíria and his own neice Áine utterly debases any meaning they may hold in the mouths of other party members, and flags the woefully low level of political trust that the public requires from those they habitually vote for.

    People may not be stupid, but ignoring this crassness and continuing to support a party that will seemingly not choose to see the utter contridiction inherent in this points to something much worse. As you say, they don’t care, they are at best insensitive and calious, at worst entirely cynical. I completely agree with you that it will not damge the partie’s support base, but for any of us who can clearly see the centuries long rape of Ireland herself symbolically continuing in the blind eyeing of this blatent condoning of brutality by those who set themselves up as her protector, this is simply a betrayal too far.

  • Gingray


    Largely agree, but give me a party that does more than offer policy on women’s issues. It’s a sad state of affairs that parties only talk about what they will do, but rarely follow through.

    Do you think women’s issues could be a vote winner?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good answer. I personally know a few very decent, sincere people in SF, Gingray, something rare in any NI political party ever, but this issue is something that pulls the ground out from any trust I can have in the party in general. Sure Maíria is being used against SF, but had the whole party acted with the consistency I’d have expeceted from the example of those decent members I know, Maíria would be standing for SF!

    That woman’s issuse can be seen as a poor vote winner speaks reams about the kind of society that ordinary people are persuaded to strive for by a cynical media (in which I was a one time employer, through my own film company, alas!) I’m still a “co-operation” (Emma Goldman) rather than a “competition” person, as I was in my teens in the PD, so simply being in power without the honesty, dependibility and the sound moral content does not spark anything much in me. But yes, looking at the policies of every other party here (other than the Green Party!) offers us a woeful picture, so mores the pity that the cult of the personality comes before principal in this.

  • eireanne

    yeah – noticed that “impatience with party stalwarts” lately in the DUP when Emma Pengelly was appointed to a post Ms Patterson had been aspiring to.

  • Gingray

    Again, I agree with you, but I don’t think this is limited to Ireland. Women just are not an issue that voters male or female, vote on.

    Which is a disgrace but my mouthing how bad it is won’t make slightest difference.

    Establishment parties and police north and south and in gb covered up child abuse and still get voted in.

    Where are you now following the unfortunate early demise of the PDs?

  • mickfealty

    Well, there’s no point in having rules if you don’t enforce them. 😉

  • mickfealty

    Yes. And not even that Laurence. Another one who is not Irish and doesn’t do politics. Argh..

  • ben__w

    Can’t we criticize politicians for what they do, how they act, and how they behave? I think it’s entirely appropriate to point out that the incumbent, Jimmy Harte, was a failed Fine Gael candidate at several levels before Labour found him this seat, that he was to the fore in the xenophobic “Magda” nonsense promoted by the Irish Independent, that his behavior on social media was outrageous and his self-serving comments about it dishonest — claiming that he was the victim of “bullying” and so on. It seems to me that these are all issues that have every bearing on how he fulfilled the office of Senator and raise serious questions about how Labour chooses its candidates.

  • mickfealty

    It is, sort of. But that’s nothing remotely like what you said initially, and not what you got clipped for. 🙂

  • Granni Trixie

    Update: just heard Patricia McBride on BBCNI Sunday Politics programme make sympathetic noises about MC “we need more women in politics” adding “just hope Maria Cahill isn’t being used” .

    This line is obviously going to be trotted out by SF: not criticising but implying “poor dear, she’s so dumb she doesn’t know they are using her”.
    As we say in these parts, ” do they thnk we came up the Lagan in a bubble”

  • Jack Stone

    Mrs. Cahill’s political history certainly makes her an interesting choice. Certainly her previous support for Physical Force Republicanism means she reaches out to the core of many disenfranchised Sinn Fein voters. Will her political past be examined without it being used as a smear against her allegations? In 2010, She was the National Secretary of Republican Network for Unity, a political organisation, which since then has been linked to the dissident paramilitary group Óglaigh na hÉireann. I mean I would love to hear about her involvement with a group that is the political wing of a splinter group of the Real IRA. Does the Labour Party in Ireland support these groups too? She is a former national secretary of Ógra Shinn Féin (SF’s youth wing). Will we now get to find out exactly when she left the party and under what reasoning? Will we get to hear about her views on the Good Friday Agreement and how they evolved? Are we going to hear about her experience with Industrial and Commercial issues or will she be a one issue Show-Pony used to beat Sinn Fein like a stick?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    No, of course it’s not limited to Ireland, and certainly not limited to SF. The efforts of any organised body of people to avoid the bad publicity of public disclsure in these matters is well attested by the exposure of the BBCs role in coverng for Jimmy Saville and the way in which Cyril Smith seems to have used the institutions of state to cover his own activities, just two disclosures of something still being stubbornly hard fought by those abusers with the power to silence challenge by the abused. But at least the other political parties are not being publically led (as far as we have been informed so far) by anyone directly implicated with the tacit condoning of sexual abuse.

    But the indifference to these issues by the electorate reflects simply this popular tendency to be led by the medias ingrained habit of ignoring truths uncomfortable to themselves and the elite they mediate. In the world we all live in the political and social climate of lying and the abuse that are the side effects of callously ignoring these issues effects us all in every aspect of our lives, knowingly or unknowingly, empoverishing every aspect of our relationships. That “Establishment parties and police north and south and in gb covered up child abuse and still get voted in” shows just what little self respect we have been brought to.

    After the PD? Well, working in the media over in England and California pretty much showed me that my callow youthful “mutualist’ anarchism was the only thing actually worked in a real world hurtling towards Thatcherite compeditivness branded under that bizarre solecism, “popular capitolism”. If I vote nowadays I vote Green, but am utterly uncomforatble with the entire representative system which encourages elitism and the abuse of power. But as you say about the other thing, “my mouthing how bad it is won’t make slightest difference”, so I do what I can in private life and business and post Jeremiads on Slugger!

  • Jag

    Unless there’s some undeclared hostility by Labour TDs or senators, she’ll be sitting in the Seanad by 13th November.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the Southern parliament or Oireachtas , there is a giant building designed by the same chap who did Buckingham Palace. It’s called “Leinster House” and has one main entrance. To the left leads you down to a large sitting room which is the Seanad where 60 senators sit, argue and debate issues (mostly hot air) and review legislation from the other part which is called the Dail (Dawl in curry). The Dail is a far bigger chamber with 166 elected TDs located at the other end of Leinster House. There are committee rooms dotted around Leinster House.

    Adjacent to Leinster House on the “campus” is a building where TDs and senators have offices.

    In front of Leinster House, but behind the security barrier and security reception, is the famous “plinth” where politicians come out and make statements and the media are allowed film and interview them there. The media isn’t allowed into Leinster House or the adjacent buildings to film, though there is live coverage from the Oireachtas of proceedings in the Dail, Seanad and committees.

    I say all of the above because Mairia is going to be running into SFers all day long when she made a senator. She has been very harsh (some would say justifiably) towards all SFers, the old guard and the fresh new faces, since she came to prominence last October. She will make them uncomfortable, and possibly they will do the same to her. She won’t get to clash with the most prominent SFers who are in the Dail, but I wonder about her potential to ambush press events on the plinth. I understand most SFers have blocked her on Twitter, there’s no such mechanism to stop her standing behind the SFers making press statements, or even heckling them or having a full-on rage attack.

    She’s a hand grenade against SF, well played Labour.

  • Gingray

    Its the directly led bit that sticks in most peoples craw, but it just reinforces to me how little the public actually care.
    Still it will be interesting to see if this move has any impact.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Gingray for an intelligent exchange over this that thankfully runs rather differently to what Gerry Lunch so accurately describes over on another thread:

    “Western culture no longer seems capable of critical dialogue between people of ideological differences but common goodwill. We want to affirmed, we are sure we are affirmed, and if we aren’t, we shout angrily.”

    My complaints about the other Gerry disguise the fact that I find many people of goodwill trying to make SF into a party that might answer some of these intractable problems our community faces. While I see GA as a credibility issue in this, I know he will not be there forever and I’d hope that these important political themes (the unthinking paternalistic treatment of women, alongside actual abuse and rape) will be eventually recognised for their seminal importance in our slow meandering towards a fair and decent society across Ireland.

  • Gingray

    I think Gerry has got it right – there are some on Slugger who behave in that manner. But yes, cheers for the exchange.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Indeed there are quite a few (even on Slugger), my wife calls it “Final Solution Thinking” wherever she encounters it.

    I remember that T.E. Hulme, the philosopher of the British Modern Movement in the Arts, said that the one vestage of his Christianity he could not loose was the doctrine of orgininal sin, a salutary critique of those who judged themselves the last word on everything, bolstered by a belief in the perfectability of man. None of use get it right enough not to listen to others, so thank you again.

  • Gingray

    You mean I don’t know everything? Shocking!

    I know what you mean, people like to work in definites, which is never going to work when nearly every single issue has so many different factors that can alter perception.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    Sinners do not like anyone who can think for themselves. Like to control people. Like past step out of line your dead. Times are a changing. Go girl go, you are better than them sociopathic liars Stormont

  • Robbi McMillen

    Of course Labour have put Máiría forward. She has had a horrendously difficult life, but Labour will do anything to bash Sinn Féin. Policy simply doesn’t come into it.

    Labour will use Máiría’s position within the party to electioneer. She doesn’t deserve that – she has been used as a media and political pawn for a long time now. It is disgusting. And I’m sorry, but the featured image and closing quote for this article prove my point exactly. Ask the tough questions, go into some kind of analysis, but maybe try not being so transparent in how this story benefits individuals’ and parties’ narratives and cases.

    In Northern Ireland, I think we need some integrity, we’re severely lacking it in every section of our community – media, online, society, communities, everywhere. And that is one depressing realization.

  • Robbi McMillen

    I don’t think that’s the implication at all.
    Of course they are using her, Labour and Sinn Féin, as centre-left parties are fighting for votes. But Cahill is highly intelligent, she knows that she is being used, but taking the Labour nomination for Seanad will also allow her a political profile. So they are using each other, and that’s no bad thing, it’s life. I am worried, however, that Labour will damage itself more in its horrendous PR campaign, of which she is sadly a part.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think she can think for herself and make her own decisions at this stage 🙂

  • Granni Trixie

    Aw come on. I thought I read somewhere where she said that she had a brief involvement with the youth wing of One of the groups you mention – when a teenager. Hardly a seasoned terrorist?

    I also think it’s tacky to refer to a rape survivor as a show pony.

  • Granni Trixie

    You’ve come out!

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely you agree that Mairia Cahill has integrity? And far from “being used” is infact taking control so you can stop worrying she will be any body’s pawn.

  • Jack Stone

    I think you combined two things. According to Mairia Cahill, in 2010, she was only briefly involved with the political wing of Óglaigh na hÉireann which is a Real IRA splinter group. She admits she was briefly a national chairperson of this group. So, I would like her to explain her involvement in this dissident republican group, not when she was a Teenager, but 5 short years ago, when she was 30.

    When she was a teenager she was a youth activist with Sinn Féin reaching the rank of National Secretary of the youth wing. In 2000, she was subjected to that Kangaroo court. Now some places have reported that Mairia did not leave Sinn Fein til 2007. I would like to know why she stayed, why she left and if it had anything to do with Sinn Fein’s support for the PSNI.

    I called her a show-pony because either she is a politician who will speak on Industrial and Commercial issues or she will be trotted out to confront Sinn Fein and use her as a surrogate on women’s issues. Honestly Trixie, I think it’s tacky to entirely define Mairia as a victim when she is a seasoned political operative with a history in politics. I want to know more about that history and see how her beliefs mirror that of Irish Labour. The Labour Party is appointing her to a position as a senator and her politics are very germane. If she is a politician then she should be treated like one.

  • Granni Trixie

    I am not giving her a bye ball.
    I don’t know if you live n NI Jack but here,as a cnsequences of the GFA, we are conditioned, for better or worse, to overlook peoples past – not always easy.
    With that in mind I am judging MC in how she comes across now.

    Also, as I have already posted here, I do not consider her as someone with a contribution to make solely in relation to the coverup of rape. As Repubkican royalty She may make SF supporters squirm but to many of us she simply represents a clever, capable woman who comes across as if she could turn her Hand to anything.

  • Jack Stone

    Because you asked, my parents fled Belfast during The Troubles. I grew up in the States and went to Dublin for University. I spent two summers in NI. I am an Irish citizen and I did vote while in Ireland (although never for Sinn Fein).

    You aren’t really overlooking her past, you literally labeled her a victim. Also, Even if I was going to give her a pass on her past, 2010 is still pretty recently and it matters what her beliefs were then. I think she is a slick political operative but I have no idea what her political beliefs are and when i looked at her past political associations, I found some things that made me uncomfortable. The news thus far has either completely ignored it or used it to smear her accusations. Since becoming a potential candidate for the Seanad, I have not read an unbiased article about her beliefs past or present. We haven’t heard a single thing about her beliefs on Industrial and Commercial issues. It looks like a political stunt.

  • Granni Trixie

    If you had seen her on a panel with experienced politicians on Spotlight tonight you would see why one would see why it is wrong to label her “victim”. She was refreshing and down to Earth on a range of questions concerning current issues:the health service, immigration/ refugee policy etc etc.

    As for her past – she was born into a Repubkcan family but has shown and is showing that she has a broader perspective than the ideology she grew up with.
    I taught many children on the Falls Road and certainly think they are entitled to work themselves out of their circumstances …or not.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Granni, I’ve “come out” as knowing people I respect in most of our Political parties, although I think my record of slapping them all where I see something to slap is pretty well established. And I think I’ve even mentioned support for the Green Party before.

    I spoke of my respect for Danny Kinahan just a few months back, and over the Maíria threads some time back I did keep mentioning that I retained respect for some in SF while I felt that the party as a whole (and those I spoke of by their continuing membership) seriously qualified any stance of womans issues in a most negative manner by their continuing support of Gerry Adams.

    My problem in life is that I all too keenly see both sides to most issues, not something my fellow citizens are all that noted for, but then I’m a rather odd mix of local Gael and Anglo-Irish with an eighteenth century Spanish strain, also with a strong thread of U.S. mongrel (Cajun French, some Jewish, certainly some Anglo, and, I’m told, a dash of Cherokee!). D.P. Moran would have despaired………..

    But on a serious note, on the issue of the abuse of the vulnerable, my ability to empathise with the abusers is pretty non-existent.

  • Roger

    Thanks Jack for posting about this woman’s involvement in these organisations. I had no idea before reading your posts. Sorry to hear your family had to leave or flee NI as you put it. I hope it worked out well for you.

    Granni said something to the effect that people in NI need to overlook people’s pasts. I have my own views on NI but they aren’t relevant here. The point is that she is running in Ireland, not NI. I certainly don’t think people in Ireland should overlook any one’s past. Quite the opposite.

  • davidrees1916

    I am shocked that there is no update to this story here or anywhere else in the media. Apparently the story no longer suits the media’s narrative so it doesn’t get a mention.

    I have written this today to the editors of Slugger:

    I am moved to write to you about the glaring lack of Mairia
    Cahill in our newspapers and online, including Slugger. I believe this story is
    huge, it highlights hypocrisy on the part of Ms. Cahill in terms of her
    attitudes to policing and illustrates the way she was used and spat out by a
    media whose narrative she was shaped to fit.

    The hypocrisy continues today when the story is no use to
    those who wish to slow the progress of Sinn Fein so it doesn’t get a mention in
    the Irish Independent for example. Does nobody else consider her co-option to
    the Seanad in these circumstances undemocratic?