The Cork rebels and Sinn Féin


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Photo by Fergal

What is going on in Cork? Or to be more exact, in Cobh.  According to the Irish Examiner (not, as you probably know, a fan of Sinn Féin) reported yesterday claims that 54 members of Sinn Féin cumann have left the party because of expulsions. What expulsions? Well it seems two party councillors from the region were ‘sanctioned’. I think that means kicked out.  And as if to verify Shakespeare’s claim that sorrows come not in single spies but in battalions, on Tuesday there were reports that the entire 15-strong SF cumann in Fermoy had quit,  to protests at the expulsion of party councillor Kieran McCarthy, of Cobh, and the suspension of Melissa Mullane, of Mallow.

Sinn Féin says they’ve got the figures wrong:  five of the people who signed the resignation letter weren’t members, and around four others on the list hadn’t even been told about the letter.   Those in protest say they’re being treated in an undemocratic fashion.

What’s going on?  Something pretty serious: Sinn Féin is in the business of winning more party members, not ejecting them. The Irish Times claims one of the councillors was ejected after a dispute about a  loan for thousands of euro taken out in the party’s name, and that the other councillor got the boot for trying to undermine the party’s Cork East TD.  The says that the two expelled councillors had their eye on replacing Sandra McLellan, the sitting SF TD for East Cork.

Money and power – two powerful elements for most parties. So is it a case of the central party bullying a smaller grouping in Cork and trying to tell them what to do? Or is it a case of local people thinking they can call the shots without reference to any unifying national party base?

I have no idea. But you may be sure that Sinn Féin didn’t eject two councillors because it didn’t like the colour of their hair. Whether the party have been overly heavy-handed  remains to be seen: certainly the local party members have given credence to the description of their county as Rebel Cork.

Given that the party’s opponents will seize on this incident to denounce the party as Stalinist, brutal, militaristic, fascist and whatever  you’re having yourself, Sinn Féin would do well to come clean and if they’ve acted in an unfair, heavy-handed way, admit it. Likewise if they’ve attempted to impose reasonable national discipline on a couple of power-hungry councillors, they should say so. The Shinners have enough people outside the tent pissing in without adding their own internal contribution.

10 Responses to The Cork rebels and Sinn Féin

  1. Cal June 26, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    Yes, if they kick people out they’re stalinists.

    If they kick no-one out they’re a cult.

    Over to you, SF.

  2. Alex June 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    Have to laugh how the shinner bashers, like wolves with a bone, latch on to any sign of ructions within SF. The uber republicans who couldn’t agree on the colour of shite and the likes of Cahill really need to get a life.

    • TheHist June 26, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

      Alex, “any sign of ructions within SF” – this to me looks a more serious issue – Guts of 70 party representatives resigning, think that is a cause for concern … The party not offering any explanation as to why the two councillors were reprimanded in the first place is an even bigger concern – have SF something to hide? These are the important questions, not the reactions of some to this!

  3. Perkin Warbeck June 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    Whatever about the ins and outs, indeed, the fins and speckled trouts of the Sinn Fein shout out in Cobh, Esteemed Blogmeister, one thing is clear.

    As clear indeed as the aquamarine waters around Cape Clear itself.

    As clear even as the bowl of consomme which is the first course of the five-course meal which is in the enjoyable process of being made of the Cathal brouhaha by the ravenous reporters of the Free Southern Stateen media (both bought and purchased).

    When God closed the door at the eleventh hour on the Food and Musak Festival at the Heaven’s Reflex, of Killarney he,oops,She simultaneously opened the door for the hungry hacks at the Holy Ground of Queen’s Town, dat is de Cobh of Cork:

    ‘If Musak be the Food of Hate, play on and put more on our Plate !’

    Hardly a coincidence that Cork also gave to the world of hackneyed phrases,such as the Skibereen Eagle which kept an orb on the Czar of Russia. For in this latest hack-attack the Soviet vocabulary has also been prominent on the menu:

    From parboiled Politburo porkchops to caviar a la commissar of the cumann, to a glasnost of Murphy’s Stout itself..

    Seems like there is just no getting away from the fact the de Reb-el County of Cork is de very Dacha of de Hackitariat this week.

    For there was Perkie’s inner trouble-shooter tossing up his last rouble as a last ditch effort to decide on this week’s prizewinner for the much coveted award of ‘Best Snorter of a Short Letter from an Emeritus-titled reader to the Editor of a Paper with Times included in the title’.

    Talk about a heads or tails job: it came down to two.

    One from the Emeritus Professor of Detritus Studies, oops, Irish History at Queen’s College, Cork / de Reb-el County (so good they named it twice, boy) to The Unionist Times where there’s always a h.t. welcome on the mat:

    ‘The archaelogical ‘dig’ to locate the remains of executed 1916 man Thomas Kent in Collins Barracks, Cork with a view to a subsequent pomp-and-circumstance reburial is surely an ill-conceived and undignified project.

    We could without another manifestation of self-indulgent morbid nationalist propensity’.

    Nationalist? For sure. But exclusively so? There are certain indications that it may actually have its roots, centuries deep roots indeed, in the, erm, imperialist tradition. Leaving aside the current archaelogical ‘dig’ being carried out in a forsaken Royal Meath peat prairie, the citing of just one manifestation of a self-indulgent morbid imperialist propensity ought to suffice.,

    And oddly enough, also involving a chap name of Thomas even though his surname was not synonymous with one of the,erm, Home Counties.

    That would be Captain, the Lord Kestern, aka Sir Thomas Carew Trollope who was aboard the good ship Mercina off the coast of North Africa during WW1 in 1915. Coldbloodedly torpedoed by a Hun U-boat (the prototype of which lethal submarine vessel was patented by a Fenian errorist by the name of, Holland).

    Initially, interred (no second n) in Algeria he was later repatriated to his last (hopefully) resting place in Crowcomb, Somerset.

    What is it that J. Augustine Murphy (for it is he !) is implying here: that the Great 14-18 Donkey Derby was NOT part of the Irish Backstory? Nev-ah !

    Until this crucial point is clarified, Perkie must keep tossing his coin to see whether it will come down on the side of that short Snorter or on the side of the short Snorter of a squawk from the President Emeritus of the Free Southern Stateen to the Editor of the New Yawk Times.

    in the interim, it behoves one to finish on a cheerful note, rumour being the best medicine, at least according to the Reader’s Digestive System:

    In 1953 as the cruiseliner ‘America’ steamed into the cove of Cork the carillon bells of Cobh Cathedral rang out the impish melody of ‘The Dance of the Cuckoo’ in welcome to the two VIPs on board the boat: (left to rigth) Oliver Hardy and Stanley Laurel whose signatrue toon it was..

    One emhaises this report is filed away under r for rumour. For obvious reasons:

    1. This was the Free Southern Stateen of the Fifties: a dour decade of fifty shades of grey.

    2. There is only one cathedral in Cobh, St Colman’s Cathedral. It is (gasp) a RC Cathedral. A religion known only to ring out the grim tune of ‘ Sweet Vale of A.V.O.C.A.’

    As 1. and 2. are articles of adeeply felt faith in the Free Southern Stateen the above story must, of necessity, remain in the realm of rumour.

  4. alex June 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    A lot of shinner bashers will be eating humble pie when they listen to this interview.

  5. Ryan June 26, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Every political party has its internal troubles. There was apparently an attempted coup d’état in the DUP when Dr Haass and Dr O’Sullivan was in town trying in vain to get an agreement on flags and parades, supposedly lead by then Health Minister Edwin Poots and others like him. The DUP rebels were even sneaking copies of the proposed agreement to Loyalist Fleg protestor Jamie Bryson in a hotel toilet in order to get his approval, you know given that Jamie has a huge mandate, voter base and all that…..

    When it comes to Sinn Fein needless to say their enemies will use whatever they can to attack the party and you can bet your house they will add the situation in Cork to their arsenal.

    Its fast approaching the 2016 Irish General Election, expect everything from down right lies to the kitchen sink being thrown at Sinn Fein in order to stop them getting more TD’s seats. Will it work? Well It certainly hasn’t so far.

  6. cararua June 26, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    A very moving interview. Well done Alex for bringing that to attention. I think the lesson to be learned is to address unreasonable behaviour very quickly before it gets out of hand and spirals into a media feeding frenzy.

  7. billy June 27, 2015 at 12:13 am #

    maybe yrs ago a trip to cogglestown moor would have stopped this,

  8. Alex June 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm #


    Interesting that when mc carthy is interviewed towards end of interview when he is pressed on issues he hangs up the phone.

  9. cararua June 27, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Yes Alex it is very revealing. Fair play to the interviewer for putting those questions to him. Mr McCarthy didn’t come across as very convincing in the interview.