Anybody But Sinn Fein

Liam O'Muileann feels republicans in Derry are very mixed up. 

Is the political situation in Derry symbolic of the problems facing contemporary republicans?

At the mouth of Christmas, every four years or so, a number of hopefuls announce their candidacies for local DEA elections usually held in May.

In 2014, a number of republicans who opposed Good Friday & rejected the lure of compromise that came with the peace process took seats in the North-West - between Derry & Strabane.

Thinking back to that time, I expected a similar return with a number of independent candidates announcing their plans to take a seat.

The only candidate announcement I have seen to date is that of an independent in Derry. Ex-SDLP member Emmet Doyle. I thought this was very mundane & barely paid attention to an ex-Stoop shaking off the party shackles that were clearly inhibiting his political & career ambitions.

Largely uninteresting, until I seen the outpouring of republican support for this candidate in the form of well wishes, good lucks & even some declaring they will give him a vote.

Some of those ‘republicans’ included the heretics of pure republicanism & the high-priests of abstentionism.

You won’t have to look far to see them decry everything as anti-republican. Yet, seemingly, have no problem displaying support for a pro-peace process, pro-GFA, pro-PSNI & pro-Stormont candidate.

No doubt they will attempt to justify this on two fronts:

These elections are only local council elections - ignoring they are political arenas devolved from Stormont

He does great community work - so we should ignore all their other political leanings so long as they clean graffiti off the walls. Then hopefully we are never faced with the quandary of a hard-working Shinner.

Maybe this is indicative of modern republicanism. Anybody but Sinn Fein.

Or is it much worse?

Has their been an internal republican coup, where non-republican types have displaced republican ideologues?

Either way.

⏩ Liam O'Muileann is an Independent commentator and political activist from Strabane.


  1. Liam - thanks for putting this the way of TPQ.

    There is never one ideal candidate in elections. They invariably seek votes from a mosaic, and reconciling the varying hues is a huge challenge.

    Equally, there is never one reason for all who vote a candidate.

    A lot of republicans can see a logic in the GFA if it is an SDLP project but nothing from a republican perspective. The SDLP are not seen to have compromised anything by accepting it. SF are viewed as having compromised everything.

    Emmet Doyle seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people most of whom probably disagree with him on some aspect of his politics.

  2. Liam,

    Republician or otherwise what is the point of the political system apart from personal aggrandizment? Do you any of us at this stage buy into the obviousness of this bullshit?

  3. There's a certain honour in fighting and losing, and there's logic and maybe even honour in choosing not to fight because you believe you are bound to lose (a la so called constitutional nationalists like the SDLP). But there's no honour or logic in fighting and surrendering, and then making out that your surrender is really a victory. My hunch is that it's not the end of the military campaign that repels "true" republicans about modern Sinn Fein, but the political and philosophical surrender - that party's ignominious descent into a weedy version of the Workers Party circa 1985. The late WP stalwarts, Garland and Goulding, had the last laugh - that's for sure - but then I've seen some republican insiders quoted as saying that Adams was a Sticky plant in the Provos from way back in the day. Such a theory would go a long way to explain why the Adams led Shinners always seemed to turn the other cheek in the face of incessant Sticky denunciations of the Provos as "fascists".

  4. The Sinn Fein which surrendered Welfare Reform back into the hands of the Tories as got it ready to hijack the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
    The Sinn Fein which raised a toast to the British Queen, then chased after her and her son Charles like demented Westlife fans every time they set foot on Irish soil.
    The Sinn Fein which stated that it would go into a coalition with Fianna Fail or Fine Gael. The Sinn Fein which really pulled the plug on Stormont, not for Rights nor an ILA, but so it wouldn't be in government as Universal Credit, PIPs and the Bedroom Tax, they said would never happen, is rolled out across the North. They'd blame the DUP/Tories but they said 'Aye' to them as well.
    And if toasting the British Queen wasn't bad enough once, Sean Crowe TD went and raised another glass to her in November, then laid a wreath with a Tory MP at Westminster Palace.
    The Sinn Fein which has hijacked James Connolly who compared them to the Tories of the time in 1909 accusing them of 'promising lots of Irish labour at low wages to any foreign capitalist who wishes to establish in Ireland'..... Fuck me that is Sinn Fein and Corporation Tax today. That Sinn Fein?
    Why not anyone but Sinn Fein they are as close as you'll get to the British today, no matter who they try and hide behind, Countess Markievicz or James Connolly.