Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Sinn Fein in Dublin disarray - Burke quits

It gets worse for the Shinners in Dublin. Hot on the heels of Mary Lou McDonald's ejection from her little-used EU parliament seat, and the party’s poor showing at local level in Dublin where it lost four seats – comes news that Christy Burke is quitting the party, citing lack of support in the by-election campaign.

Burke managed to hold on to his North Inner City seat, but now the head of the Shinner’s Dublin branch, Aenghous O’Snodaigh, wants him to hand it back, arguing that it was won under "the Sinn Fein banner". This seems to ignore the point that many people in working-class areas of the capital chose not to "vótáil" for the Shinners, including neighbouring Fingal where - despite a major effort - they did not get one solitary seat.

O’Snodaigh, of course, is no stranger to foot-shooting statements. Back in 2007, he opposed Conor Lenihan’s plans to aid immigrants’ integration into the workplace by relaxing the Irish language requirement in areas of State employment. Of course, far from seeing this as a progressive measure, O’Snodaigh and the Shinners saw it as an “attack on the Irish language”. See Gombeen Nation, August 2007.

Then as now, it might well suit O’Snodaigh better to keep his mouth shut, as Burkes’ popularity after 25 years of local activism is quite likely independent of old party affliations.

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Ella said...

oh dear it doesn't rain but it pours.

Bernd said...

Hmmm ... on the one hand O'Snodaigh is right, Burke had the Sinn Fein ticket and then jumped ship before you could say "elected councillor".

On the other hand every politician should IMHO follow his conscience, not toe the party line.

I have the nagging feeling that there is more to this than a simple disagreement on funding and posters.

But let's see the positive side - Burke was not knee-capped. At least yet.

Ella said...

Hi GM, Bernd, I read a comment from Christy Burke in yesterday's Metro and Herald AM, where he indicated he had had enough. Enough of what you might ask. So I'd say Bernd's nagging feeling that there is more to this than a simple disagreement on funding and posters is most ceretainly true. I'm sure we can rely on O'Snodaigh to reveal all in due course.

The Gombeen Man said...

True Ella, Bernd. I'd say there's a bit more to it. Maybe he felt a bit wallflowered by the Mary Lou cult?

The Rebels Yell! said...

The initial statement following Mr Burke's announcement sounded very
one dimensional probably designed a cynical motive on Burke's part.
However, nothing is ever black or white in the Irish political arena.
Furthermore, it is highly improbable that the Sinn Fein hierarchy were
unaware of his impending departure!

Ella said...

Like I said in my earlier comment "it doesn't rain but it pours", well it hasn't stopped yet. John Dwyer, who was re-elected to New Ross urban District council in Wexford on a Sinn Fein ticket has tendered his resignation and accused the republican leadership of building a party of faces rather than policies. Arthur Morgan has called for Dwyer to hand back his seat as he was elected on a Sinn Fein ticket.

Hat trick anyone?

The Gombeen Man said...

I nominate Angus O'Snotty.

Ella said...

Well the hattrick I predicted on 17 June (see my comment has indeed happened). Killian Forde (Dublin City Council) has quit the party but will remain a councillor. He has accused party leaders of "sycophantism" and said the party placed too much emphasis on loyalty, when debate was needed.