Jude Collins

Friday, 16 September 2011

Is it true what they're saying about Martin?

Well who’d have thunk it? As I write this, Twitter is flooding with reports that Martin McGuinness will be the Sinn Féin-backed candidate for the Irish presidency. Well.

Nobody saw that coming. NOBODY.  But they had good reason not to. For a start, McGuinness is terribly important to the success of Sinn Féin in the north and to the peace process in general. It just seemed inconceivable. Then there’s his clear IRA history, which raises a lot of hackles, not just in the north. But then you think about it and maybe it makes sense. If it’s true. How does it make sense? Let me count the ways.

1.    1.  He’s an authoritative figure to all shades of Sinn Féin.
2.    2.  He’s widely admired for his ability to work and even form a friendship with Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and just last weekend, a Derry Presbyterian minister.
3.     3. The election period is short – around six weeks.
4.    4.  If he were to win, it would be a huge coup for Sinn Féin – almost inestimable in its worth.
5.    5.  If he doesn’t win, he can return to Stormont and pick up where he left off.
6.     Either way, he’ll attract the maximum vote  Sinn Féin could have hoped to get.

How does it not make sense?

1.     1. There are people in the south who have always detested Sinn Féin and its linkage with the IRA, and Martin McGuinness personifies that link.  But then they were never going to vote for any Sinn Féin-backed candidate.
2.     2. Know something? I can’t think of a No 2.

It sounds like a huge high-wire act until you stand back and think. Then you begin to see how many boxes (to invent a new metaphor) it ticks.

No wonder we all thought he looked sorta …different at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis.  Now - if the rumours are true -  we know why.

It could be one helluvan interesting six weeks…


  1. What happens if Martin wins?
    Wouldn't he have to give up his position in Stormont to fulfill his duties as President?
    There is certainly a replacement for the lying, deceitful, untrustworthy and unlikeable Sinn Fein President, (Gerry is his name) but I don't think anyone in Sinn Fein could fill Martin's shoes in the 6 county Executive.
    Can Martin wear two hats at the same time?
    Can Sinn Fein afford the loss of Martin at the 6 county helm?
    Am I crazy to think Martin can win?

  2. On another note Jude: that which you feared most has come to pass- and from a Shinner into the bargain-
    "Allowing Catholic priests to marry could have helped prevent the extent of clerical child abuse within the church."

    That was the feeling expressed by Sinn Fein junior minister Martina Anderson during a Question Time session in Derry last night.

    Normally we'd expect such nonsense from Iris Robinson types. Just shows that ignorance spans the religious divide. It's a great wee country.

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/allow-priests-to-marry-sinn-fein-mla-tells-question-time-16050562.html#ixzz1Y7zPaMm5

  3. Féilim Ó hAdhmaill16 September 2011 at 16:30

    It would certainly add a bit of interest to what at the moment is turning out to be a very boring Presidential election. What's the betting though that the political establishment in the South will be running around every tabloid celebrity trying to get them to stand as an 'anyboby but Mcguinness' candidate. Should be fun!

  4. Mc Guinness would feel right at home replacing Mc Aleese- both practising catholics which would sit well with the liberals and blue shirts.

  5. Martin McGuinness is 6/1 at Paddy Power to be the next Irish President.

  6. Jude, your analysis is spot on.
    Furthermore, choice of MMG is lowest risk possible in that he can suffer no colateral damage from campaign if he doesn't get elected.
    Though Parliamentary Boundaries are to change, at present' MMG enjoys perhaps, the biggest surplus of any SF TD or MP.

    In the event that MMG is narrowly defeated he can safely return to Stormont, having demonstrated the 32 county politics which he espouses.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY in my view is that Sinn Féin see this contest as phase 1 of that which will be held in 2018. By then the franchise in presidential elections will have been extended to 6 counties voters and emigrants; a process accelerated by MMG's participation in this election.
    Sooner or later a Court will deem it a contravention of Natural jusice & Human Rights that in a Democratic society one who may become a Candidate may not be entitled to Vote by reason of domicile.

    ALL of the issues on Sinn Féin's 'to do' list are served by todays declaration of intent.
    Sinn Féin strategists anticipated much and have got it right.

    The bonus which perhaps was not anticipated was the significant downturn of tolerance of Dublin's coalition Gov't which currently prevails in voter opinion.

    Sinn Féin are on course for one of their better and more relaxed elections in recent years. The enthusiasm of their party workers evidenced already today will make their dynamic effort the envy of all other contenders.

    This presidential election will be the most significant Republican performance since 1945 when Tyrone native and IRB founder Dr Patrick McCartan carried the mantle. Though unsuccessful his vote transferred in greater part to the Fine Gael candidate.

  7. Never watch the crap on RTE, but will be flicking through to see the reaction of ,Turbity, Myers and even the weasel Byrne etc. It should be funny.Good to hear Feilim, great memories from the Farmers ,belfast.

  8. Martin McGuinness now at 9/2 at Paddy Power to be the next Irish President.

  9. Martin McGuinness at 3/1 with Ladbrokes to be the next Irish President.

  10. Ladbrokes have suspended bets on him. I think that means they're afraid they might lose money...

  11. John O'Dowd to replace Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister according to RTE.

  12. Sounds like another massive exclusive for RTÉ...

  13. Luke Ming Flanagan TD and Michael Healy-Rae TD have both said they will put Martin McGuinness name forward for Irish President. Who will be number 3? Thomas Pringle TD maybe?

  14. Tom Fleming TD has backed Martin McGuinness that brings the number up to 20.

  15. Memo to Martin. The hostile and reactionary media will try and goad you to lose your cool and inflame your legendary temper. Stay cool. Far be it from me to advise you, Martin, but you can cite that it is obvious to anyone watching the ongoing saga of the PSNI trying to access the Boston tapes that the time is not yet opportune to talk about the past. Indeed, one of the first things you will do as President is to work for an independent truth and reconciliation process where those still grieving over the tragic deaths of loved ones in the conflict will be given the answers they deserve. Next question please.

  16. Mr McGuinness said if elected he will only draw the average wage, approximately €35,000, and donate the rest to the state.

    Irish President Mary McAleese has capped her salary this year at €250,000.