Sinn Fein co-opt two new faces to replace McElduff and McCallion

Sinn Féin have selected Karen Mullan for co-option to replace newly elected MP Elisha McCallion as a Foyle MLA &  Catherine Kelly for co-option to replace newly elected MP Barry McElduff as MLA for West Tyrone.

Catherine Kelly has been a member of Sinn Féin since 2009, stood as a candidate in Omagh Town in the 2014 local elections, has worked as Political Advisor to Barry McElduff and is currently secretary of Omagh Sinn Féin Comhairle Ceantair.

Karen Mullan is a community worker in the city of Derry.


  • Backbencher

    Haven’t heard of either lady, but does anyone know if either Karen Mullan or Catherine Kelly have any terrorist convictions?

  • Gaygael

    Interesting. Few more to come.

    Any idea of number of co-options by SF and others? Did they churn over a 1/3 during the 2011-2016 mandate?

  • Aengus Millen

    They both seem way too young to have any personal connections

  • Jag

    Congratulations to Karen and Catherine. Will they get the full £1,000 apiece for this week’s work as an MLA, and the full expense allowance of an average of £1,500 apiece.

    Will their salaries be paid directly to them, or will it go to the SF central fund?

    If Karen or Catherine are presently claiming social welfare payments, then it’s very important they inform authorities that they’re now in paid employment.

  • Granni Trixie

    I’m sure being a “Political Advisor” is useful preparation for being an MLA but I wonder what it takes to be appointed Pol. Advisor? (gizza job,gov).

  • ted hagan

    Would Sinn Fein be in a better place today had they allowed Foster to stay in place(she probably sill anyway if there is a deal), not collapsed the executive, fought within for an Iirsh language act and kept the DUP close to their chest with the First Start partnership? Just wondering.

  • Old Mortality

    Only ‘the best and the brightest’.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘If Karen or Catherine are presently claiming social welfare payments…’
    What an outrageous suggestion. I’m sure they’re typically self-reliant Derry women.

  • Sean79

    I’d guess Political Advisors are appointed in a similar manner to
    Assembly Constituency & Research Assistants, who often go on to become MLAs, certainly in the case of the Alliance party.

  • Granni Trixie

    Indeed, I’m interested in what qualifications are required to be an “advisor ” or even a SPAD? For example, is a level of education attainment required? life or business experience? Or specialist background? Which ofcourse brings up ththe question of what advisors and SPADS actually do.

  • Séamus

    Is that the same Karen Mullan who recently appeared in Eamonn McCann’s article on job discrimination in Derry community groups?

  • Nevin

    “replace newly elected MP Elisha McCallion”

    Claims of ‘vote stealing’ in Foyle. Would the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland and the PSNI be permitted to carry out an in-depth investigation?

  • Granni Trixie

    The link you provide shines a light on a system which it seems SF reps participate in but don’t altogether understand. Who pays the tax or individual…can see how confusion arises.
    Turnover in personnel likely reflects individuals not being paid the rate for the job hence less buy in.

  • Gaygael

    Very interesting.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The one thing which it does not appear to be in certain parties is any experience of PR work.

  • Gary McClean
  • Gary McClean

    “Sorry folks for not getting back sooner as I have been up to my eyes. If two out of three interviewers are not happy with the candidate I think we should go back out to re-advertisement and invite them all to apply.
    In the private and public sector they don’t appoint people just because they did the best interview, they won’t appoint unless the candidate is right for the job and if the panel does not agree, the process begins again and in the community sector we should be doing the same…When questioned in the witness stand if she had ever worked in the Private sector Karen Mullan answered “No”. When asked if she had ever been involved in interview processes in the Private sector her answer was “no”. When asked if she had worked in the Public Sector she answered “yes”. When asked if she had ever been involved in interview process in Public Sector she answered “No”. When asked further “how can you possibly stand over this email”…her answer? Well she didn’t have one!!!

  • Gary McClean

    “her evidence lacked credibility” FAIR EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL

  • Gary McClean

    “The unanimous decision of the Tribunal is that the claimant had been unlawfully discriminated against by the respondent contrary to the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998”.

  • Gary McClean

    If discrimination in employment was unacceptable (and it was) under the ‘Old Unionist Regime’ then it is certainly unacceptable now in 2017. (Gary Mc Clean)

  • james

    Speaking as a unionist, I’ve always found the sheer, stark magnitude of Sinn Fein’s total lack of ‘strength in depth’ to be very cheering.