Time for the Hunted to Become the Hunter

Guest writer Dan Kelly urging support for Independent Socialist candidate Ciaran Mullholland in the next local government elections. Ciaran Mullholland will stand in West Belfast's Upper Falls constituency.

Hunting season has been declared open and All the political parties, unionist and nationalist, will be stalking; not us, but our votes. Unfortunately for them, voter apathy is at an all-time high of 30%. The vast majority of this percentage,  the working class, have gained little or nothing from this ‘peace process’ whilst those who implement it on both sides of the political divide create ‘jobs for the boys’ and live the lifestyle of the fat-cat.

Not wishing to tar all politicians with the same brush, I personally know a few who have genuinely had the communities' best interests at heart and have worked tirelessly towards that goal: unfortunately, when their masters say jump they still have to request, 'in which direction?'

This is the flaw in our political system as it stands. It is time we, the hunted, became the hunter and give them the alternative they keep denying is out there. And that is for the ‘party apathetic voter’ to regain the power that installed these flawed parties into the positions of power they now hold. Take out your vote once again and seek out the independent that best suits your political views and empower him/her with that vote.

There will be those who will undoubtedly question the wisdom of voting for an independent, or even the act of voting itself and, for a decade, I was one such person. The reality is that those who we used to vote for, and once called themselves socialists are the very same people that will implement the British organised social reforms and bedroom tax, regardless of the pomposity flaunted by their spokesmen.

Ask yourself, weather Protestant or Catholic, if our communities are collectively any better off since the beginning of the ceasefire? I work in a community association that has seen its advice workload quadruple with people who cannot afford to live and must decide to eat or heat. I see the homelessness seeking shelter in doorways on the Andytown road as never before. I see flats that are more dilapidated than those of Divis in the seventies. I witness landlords throwing the poor onto the streets, landlords who are members of the same so-called socialist party.

Yes, an independent can make the difference. Because of our political set-up, quite often a split vote can come down to one person who decides where that motion will fall. The independent can often wield more power than the strongest party, and this could be your vote making real change. An independent does not have to ask his/her leader for direction on certain issues but can use their own initiative on matters that best represents their community. Our political leaders have failed us miserably and have become as corrupt as the very system they entered to change. It is up to us, the 30% who have been so disheartened and disenfranchised throughout the years to make the change and bring politicians back to the grass roots where they are held accountable for their actions.

For me, this choice is relatively easy, there is only one candidate in the Upper Falls constituency that suits my political views and no doubt will be seen by many as the new kid on the block, Ciaran Mullholland. One of Ciaran’s mottos is “Actions, not words.” And I have witnessed him take many actions relating to poverty, housing, food-banks etc, without chasing the beams of limelight.  He has the community at heart, is an advocate of the Gaelic language and sport and has represented many in this community through his role as a human rights activist. But for me his most attractive aspect is his support for the ‘One Ireland One Vote’ campaign. There are others considering standing as independents, with similar views, Dee Fennel to name but one, and most certainly a candidate, if I were in his ward, I would not only be giving my vote to, but a considerable amount of my time, to ensure a truly strong republican and community voice was inside the dome challenging the ‘pretenders to the throne’ (pardon the pun).

Having got to know this Ciaran over the past few years, I would not like to be one of those pretenders the day this candidate faces off to assert his and our rights.

One thing I would ask, no, Demand, of any independent that gets elected to represent me, our struggle has always been the working man’s struggle and that trumps any religious or political division. We cannot move toward our goal of a united Ireland until we have a united working class. But yet, I make no apologies to the working class Protestant, or anyone else reading this article, because, first I am a socialist agitator; then a republican but always proud to be Irish. 


  1. Good piece Dan. It might have been better if you had of said working class struggle rather than working man.

  2. Dan the man-

    " Voter apathy is at an all-time high of 30% "-

    Political partys know the crack-keep it low to get voted back in-its about bums on seats not those
    out on the streets-

    " Dee Fennal to name but one "-

    Another 1916 societies member going independent for a election-trying to bluff the people fools no one but themselves-a independent party of fools-

    Politics and politicians are wrong-well-apart from my man who is the number 1 man-

  3. Michael Henry
    No one bluffed the voters more than Sinn Fein or as many call them( the sell out on every Republican principle party) not to mention encouraging people to inform and handing over their weapons party.
    MH get a grip!

  4. Dan

    This is not a criticism just a thought, I do not believe voters are suffering from apathy, far from it, they have woken up to the fact that the overwhelming majority of mainstream politicians are there to serve themselves and their masters who make up the elitist one percent.

    These wretched individuals and their media gofers cannot publicly admit this simple fact, so they tar the electorate as apathetic.

    If that were true they would not give a toss, as all the main party's can get their core vote out. They are as happy to be elected today with 20% of the vote as they were decades ago of 50% plus, etc.

    I love it when I see some time serving politician on Question time, Spotlight, wherever, saying we are apathetic as the more they insult us the more of us turn against them.

  5. Mick I agree with that 100 percent - it's not just apathy, people are sick of hearing the same promises time after time then nothing being done. They know it's a waste of time voting - the only thing that sustained the high percentage here was the sectarian card but even at that now people don't even care as much - because all the parties are Brits now, including our dear old Michael McIvor's

  6. Ciaran by the way is a sound fella, great to see him put himself forward and hope he gets in. As for Mickeybroy's jibes about the Societies what garbage... The Societies do not follow an electoral strategy and have no intention of engaging in one either. Our goal is to rebuild the resistance to the British occupation of our country - that occupation his own party now form a part of with their Diplock courts, their internment, their harassment of republicans, their political police force. Quisling Sinn Fein as Marty calls them and he is right! for that's exactly what they are

  7. Great article. I am still debating on whether or not to even vote. Never voted before. Not really any parties that even appeal to me.

  8. Is this guy fully independent or is he part of a group? Sure I have heard of him before. IS Eirigi not running any persons?
    I know John McCusker did pretty good in his first running.
    It would be nice to have a Socialist to vote for. Only ever seem to stand in West Belfast, which is a shame. Some Socialist groups should branch out for us not living in the west to vote.

  9. Ciaran has an excellent chance of being elected , the people that know him and what he does , and , being a man of his word will not hesitate to put an X in that square for him.

    I wish him all the best in a hard uphill struggle against the Inuendos which will be spewed out by you know who against any independent.

    MH, would you like to get 50 Tenners of your queens money and donate it to the food bank.

  10. itsjusmacker-

    Hope everyone puts a x down for Ciaran-its a local election-1-2-3-etc-

    If Ciaran gets elected he would be paid with your queens money-bet your looking forward to that-

  11. michaelhenry:

    She is not my queen.

    But she is a SF queen.

    You cease to amaze me with your childish rants at times, and your actually being paid for it.

    Dee Fennal?.

    You nor no one in SF , are fit to clean his boots.