Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fianna Fail at Queen's

- Nicky McElhatton

In a recent interview with The Gown, Fianna Fáil politican and Irish minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, talked about plans to expand his party in the North.

He failed to conmfirm whether or not this would involve a merger with the SDLP or if Fianna Fail would go it alone, stating that after talks which would conclude around Easter they would have more clarity on the situation.

He stated that not only would the party be targeting voters of a nationalist persuasion but also unionist voters and those from neither backgrounds such as newly settled foreign nationals. Indeed he commented that they had received interest from all camps and were there to represent all their voters.

He did also note that his party would have to be careful in light of the new power sharing agreement and while they aim for success they don’t want to do anything that would upset the balance currently in place.

Ahern was ‘overwhelmed’ with the response his party has received in the North especially amongst students when setting up Fianna Fáil at Queen’s earlier this week and hopes that this support will continue to grow.


Anonymous North Antrim Unionist said...

I for one am interested to see how they intend to attract unionist votes.

Should be interesting to see how the nationoalist vote is split between SF, FF and SDLP.

I might actually welcome this move.

11/09/2007 11:04 am  
Anonymous SRC member said...

They seemed to have a very cosy relationship with the DUA.

Thomas Hogg and Darran Mc Cann seemed to be doing lots of wheeling-and-dealing last night on committee places.

11/09/2007 8:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

targeting unionist voters huh? is this why fianna fail and the dua made some kind of deal at student council this week? makes me sick

11/11/2007 12:31 pm  
Anonymous North Antrim Unionist said...

I think you should understand, Unionists have no problem sharing power with nationalists. We DO have a problem sharing power with terrorists and the facts are there...many of those in Stormont are from the former ranks of the IRA. Sure OSF at Queens are not terrorists, but they're a small part of the bigger organisation, so naturally we'd welcome FF taking SF's seats.

11/12/2007 9:36 am  
Blogger Barry Magee said...

North Antrim Unionist provides a particularly useless and unhelpful comment. 'We have no problem sharing power with nationalists'.....well isn't that awfully nice of you?! Thank you so much(!) I detest this argument. I find that comment disrespectful and completely patronising. Also, what about the former 'terrorists' of the UDR, amongst many other groups, who now take their seats in Stormont under a unionist mantra? Ever heard the expression swings and roundabouts? I am certainly no SF supporter but it sickens me that people still live in the past.

11/12/2007 4:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see Fianna Fail and the DUA working together.

Whats everyone got against that?

11/12/2007 5:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

North Antrim Unionist,

Reveal your identity.

11/12/2007 7:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barry Magee

Whose livin in the past!?

Whose 'hiding under the cover of the unionist mantra'?

The UDR protected the likes of u from the ememies of Ulster.

11/12/2007 8:38 pm  
Anonymous QUB Graduate said...

Good God.

What a boring year this is shaping up to be!

Bring back big auld Chris Gaskin and Stalford.

Those were the days!

11/12/2007 11:58 pm  
Anonymous North Antrim Unionist said...

Apologies Barry, I think you misunderstood me, but I probably didn't phrase it the best. As much as I support the new assembly, it is only because I see it as the only solution for things to move forward. DUP and SF are clearly the majorities of their respective communities and thus for the issues that affect Northern Ireland to be addressed properly (which they wouldn't be by direct rule) then we need to have the two strongest parties work together.


I find it regretable that there are members in our assembly who once took their place in the hierarchy of the PIRA. This is not a jibe aimed at nationalists, I felt equally sick about the PUP, what with their strong loyalist paramilitary associations. I can think of many places I'd like to see murderers, but in seats of power is not one of them.

As far as I know, none of the current membership of Fianna Fail have ever had any links to paramiliary organisations, and thus I would much rather they were the peoples chosen representatives of the nationalist community than Sinn Fein.

I hope this clears up my opinion.

As for anonymous.

"North Antrim Unionist,

Reveal your identity."

I think thats a little hypocritical, no?

11/13/2007 2:37 pm  
Anonymous Lord James Craigavon said...

I was quite surprised to see the DUA embracing nationalists in the form of Fianna Fáil at Council last week, but even more surprised to see their website and the slogan:

'Leading for Youth, Leading for Ulster, Leading for Queens'

Good to see that they haven't taken a leaf out of Ian Jr. and have decided to embrace the gay community too!

11/13/2007 10:35 pm  
Anonymous Don't Hassel the Hoff said...


Despite how much you hate them, it would appear that they are the only political assocation at QUB with a website.


11/14/2007 1:16 am  
Anonymous Lord James Craigavon said...

Very edgy there DHTH, didn't say anything about my political views or beliefs, just pointed out the humurous nature of how someone leaving out a simple piece of punctuation can actually make a party say something that many of their supporters are opposed to. When it comes to why other parties don't have websites, maybe they like to keep people in suspense and don't like too much publicity?

11/14/2007 6:04 pm  
Anonymous Colin McShane said...

How many councillors did the new republican sinn fein cumann get on SRC?

What about Mehaulgh Harkin? Is he going to jump ship to the "true republicans"?

11/15/2007 12:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


....why does that matter, at all? SDLP Youth, the Greens and OSF have blogspots...those are websites..

11/15/2007 1:05 am  
Anonymous Briege said...

This thread like pretty much every other one on the Gown is getting very very pety.

clearly too many people with too much time on their hands.

Second floor of the Students' Unio?

11/15/2007 3:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why aren't FF and SF talkin to each other? Are SF being partitionist ;) and realising that FF are a threat rather than embracing another competitor for the nationalist vote? Let them in, at least FF can talk sense while SF are bedded down in their Marxist anti-Protestant nonsense. If only everyone was an Alliance voter....

11/16/2007 1:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that the FF branch in QUB is named after a Protestant? At least they are not out begging for blood like the other 'republican party'. FF and DUA, pro enterprise, pro employment, pro life; I think we are seeing the growth of a real alternative here to governance of Northern Ireland. Im with North Antrim Unionist; grow Northern Ireland, but with real partners not terrorists. And before anyone points back to history, in my opinion both the UVF and the IRB were illegal organisations in the 1910's so we can't point the finger. If the senior members of the DUP, who were happy to joke around with the FF at recruitment day are ok with talking to FF, then lets move forward and create a real government for our Wee

11/16/2007 1:55 am  
Anonymous Darran said...

It will be interesting to see if anyone raises objections to FF getting official SRC recognition.

I am told non of the Unionists will - but what about SF?

Or does anyone actually care about them in Queen's anymore? haha

Time for real nationalist politics!

Ogra SF are running scared of Ogra FF.

11/16/2007 1:33 pm  
Blogger Darran McCann said...

Hi everyone.

Reading this thread reminds me of Oscar Wilde's famous remark: "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." So thankyou all for your interest.

I'd just like to clarify that the "darran" posted above is not me, though I welcome his pro-FF stance. I would however distance myself from his confrontational stance re. Sinn Féin. We are trying to organise Fianna Fáil here at Queen's in the hope that we can contribute to a more cordial, businesslike political climate - because we believe this is the way to most effectively deal with the issues that affect students. We're not interested in the politics of enmity.

And we certainly don't believe ÓSF or anyone else is, or should be, running scared of us.

We're keen to work with and forge genuine friendships with members of Sinn Féin, the Democratic Unionists and all parties. We're also happy to leave the grand strategising to our party leadership - we are, after all, only a student cumann.

For this reason we believe our duty is to deal with student issues, not to re-enact partisan rivalries that exist between our senior parties. We look forward to working with all parties on these student-orientated issues for many years to come. As to the broader, divisive issues which are beyond the Union's remit anyway, we're not interested.

In answer to your question "Anonymous", yes, our cumann is named after William Drennan - born in May Street Presbyterian Church, where his father was minister. He was one of the founders of the Society of United Irishmen, the Linenhall library and Royal Belfast Academical Institution. (We've already heard from a few former Inst lads who are chuffed that we're named after the original Instonian.) He is also reputed to have coined the phrase: "to replace the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter with the common name of Irishman", which of course Tone was to make famous.

Apparently he was also the first person to refer to Ireland as "the emerald isle"!

11/16/2007 3:25 pm  
Anonymous Dermott K said...

The local DPPs are recruiting on the QUBSU website?

What is Mehaul Harkin going to do about this shameful flaunting of the apparatus of the British Colonial state?????????

Wait-he now supports them. Ooops

Wonder if the Elizabeth Windsor University Republican Sinn Fein Cumann could follow this up....

11/16/2007 3:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the North"?

11/16/2007 10:55 pm  
Anonymous Educated Union man said...

DPPs not in my name

11/16/2007 10:57 pm  
Anonymous Sara said...

By the DUA and Fianna Fail working together is another demonstration that the DUA are inspiring to politicize the union.

11/16/2007 10:59 pm  
Anonymous North Antrim Unionist said...

Not at all, I think theres real potential for good between DUA and FF working together :)

11/17/2007 12:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wzAs a Republican resident I would be DISGUSTED if Ógra SF do not support FF being recognised in QUB; do you realise the Field Day they would have if we don't?!! I can see it now "partitionist SF block all Ireland moves of Republican rival", do we really want that? Now FF are far from perfect but there is obviously an appetite for their brand of republicanism in the north, I say let them organise. If we block them we are discouraging all-ireland politics, even it will be at our expense.

11/17/2007 3:30 pm  
Anonymous Graine said...

Anonymous, Educated Union, Sara said

3 comments in 4 minutes? very, very suspicious

11/17/2007 10:58 pm  
Anonymous Former Student said...

Sorry guys - but it's up to the elected members of council to decide what it will do.

Not the executive, who seem to be trying to turn the SRC into a mere rubber stamping exercise. When I was at Queen's the SRC actually held the executive officers to account, not acting as pathetic lap dogs licking their holes at every opportunity.

Thank God we have the Gown, which I trust will scrutinise the executive at every opportunity.

It is not in students' interests to have an SRC that is in the back pocket of sabb officers. This will only lead to sloppy governance and a lack of accountability.

11/18/2007 9:05 pm  
Anonymous New Girl on the Block said...

A political group want to organise on council - what's the big bloody deal?

Fair play to FF, DUP, SF etc for putting in the effort. It will be up to the political groups to hold the executive to account.

Not those who sit there waiting for text message instructions from their masters in the executive. What a total joke.

Sabb officers should have been banned from taking any party in promoting or canvassing in SRC elections.

11/18/2007 9:34 pm  
Anonymous The Holy Father said...

Someone needs to stand up to the executive.

"Cometh the hour, cometh the (wo)man"

Gown - time to step up to the plate.

11/18/2007 11:19 pm  
Anonymous Worried Socialist SRC Member said...

Is it true that a member of George Bush's republican party is being touted as a possible candidate for speaker at the next SRC meeting?

Worse still, are supposedly non-political sabb officers going to back such a candidate?

I doubt I will be voting RON again unless a suitable candidate appears.

-End the war on Iraq-


11/19/2007 11:46 am  
Anonymous Be Like Barry said...

Mehall Harkin has forgotten his republican principle since getting elected into the Students' Union?

What has he delivered for republicans??

He just happily sits there getting paid to administer british rule over irish students.

He won't get my vote again.

11/19/2007 12:14 pm  
Anonymous Georgina Ryan-White said...

I have heard on the grape vine that QUB Oger Sinn Fein will oppose Fianna Fail's bid for SU recognition.

Could Michal Harkin please clarify the situation?

11/19/2007 12:18 pm  
Anonymous Moderate Nationalist said...

Former Student is right.

Who thel hell do the sabb officers think they are trying to dictate to Students' council???

Especially Sarah "look-at-me" McCaffrey. Makes me sick to think she is getting paid.

11/19/2007 5:25 pm  
Anonymous Sean Og said...

Is the SRC not supposed to be supreme?

Is nobody going to stop the Sabbatical officers flaunting power and authority they arn't entitled to?

11/19/2007 5:31 pm  
Anonymous North Antrim Unionist said...

"He just happily sits there getting paid to administer british rule over irish students."

lol. Petty. Really petty.

Did you have a problem colouring inside the lines, or is it just national borders that you won't recognise? Making up silly names like Elizabeth Windsor University is just being ignorant.

11/19/2007 9:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you people are and absolute mess-
lets ban sabbatical officers for supporting councilors? whats up with that

Next we will be saying ' if you know or are friends with a sabb the you can't run'

Get a life- if someone puts themselves forward, regards of why, and gets elected then great

11/19/2007 10:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think a certain political group is scared they are losing power in our student council. go dry your tears you big babies

11/19/2007 10:56 pm  
Anonymous yer man said...

Why do certain students on this blog believe they have more right to be Councillors than other students?

It's very simple: all eligable students had the oppurtunity - and have the same right - to stand for election. The student body then elected their representatives.

Why then the cries of dispair and the multiple posts claiming the unfairness of it all? It's a democracy. Get over it.

11/20/2007 10:21 am  
Anonymous Yoshimi said...

Any SDLP men / women out there that would like to clarify their position on the possible merger between FF and SDLP???

Is this something the students could lead the way on??

Personally this is when i think Politics in NI will become exciting again,, finally a party with an all ireland agenda that doesnt involve enforced socialist states and gun toting

11/20/2007 11:08 am  
Anonymous John O'Brien said...

Does it really matter who people are friends with or support on the executive - is it not a bit rich to try and slate councillors who were democratically elected by students? The parties will be there to oppose the executive and that's needed but there are many more students who will actually support most of it's moves if they knew what it was about.

I know it's the nature of politics, but why are we demonising the exec, after all WE put them there? If the people here had actually worked together maybe something good might have happened this year but I've heard the supposed 'demo' on Monday was a complete shambles, political activism week has disappeared, RAG is once again in a state of collapse and council is a mockery - both the email canceling the meeting and the fact that a speaker was deemed elected and then unelected in the space of a minute at the first meeting proves this.

11/20/2007 12:45 pm  
Blogger Georgina Ryan - White said...

Hi guys!

I would just like to clarify that the above 'Georgina Ryan White' is not me.Ogra Fianna Fail at Queens is hoping to distance itself from 'mud slinging sectarian tit-for-tat' and create a more inclusive and effective political environment that concentrates on student issues!A student union for a student body!We would like to hope that no one would oppose us gaining SU recognition so as to ensure a more democratic council!We aim to ensure cordial relations with all our counterparts and are looking forward to the next council meeting with anticipation!!!

11/20/2007 1:35 pm  
Anonymous Bored Student said...

If the Gown would stop obsessing with the SU and SRC then maybe we could discuss some more relevant issues.

11/20/2007 5:49 pm  
Anonymous Disgusted said...

We need so student issue subjects very soon before this blog is destroyed.

Sorry but i couldn't give a f*ck about the exec officers or SRC councillors.

Neither have ever done anything for me and are a total waste of money.

11/20/2007 6:56 pm  
Anonymous Leanne said...

Bored student, if you have more relevent issues you would like to be discussed speak to the editors but in the meantime . . . oouncil and esp the exec is a complete and utter farce what a wonderful range of people we have

John Roger - Who's themed tune should be "I'd like to teach teh world to sing" and adda a big group hug and we can live happily ever after

Sarah McC - wannabe Piers Morgan

Mehole - couldn't spell his name backwards . . . or forwards come to think of it

Steffan - anyone ever heard him say anything????

Ciarnan - his hypocrital head is that swollen it's a miracle he can get through the door.

International officer - what has he done??

Jennifer Dunn - would flirt with anthing with a pulse

Sharon Simpson - piss off back to the country

Caroline - who?

Alex Hobson - liberal do gooder

Aren't we so proud and privileged to have an exec like this.

Long may they reign!!!!

11/20/2007 7:28 pm  
Anonymous SDLP said...

I am personally in favour of an SDLP/FF merger at some stage in the future.

But i don't think most of the main players are...

11/20/2007 8:13 pm  
Anonymous Apolitical said...

Obviously someone is trying to stir up tension between the various political groups (Greens, FF, DUP + Sinn Fein).

Who would want to create such a situation? The sabbs and non-sabbs?

Don't be taking in by the crap posted on this blog.

11/20/2007 8:28 pm  
Blogger David said...


Whilst it will probably never be as big as it was in the 70's and 80's I would hardly say that RAG is in a state of collapse. A number of very dedicated volunteers are rebuilding the society and doing a very fine job. Last year the society collected over £12000 for charity and tonight alone the society made nearly £400. This despite little support, which often verges on opposition from some within the union's management.

11/21/2007 1:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My God. Could every please calm down. At the end of the day most students going around Queen's today probably couldn't name more than 1 of the executive officers (if lucky). Even fewer will know anything substantial about the SUC. So does it really matter who won what position or voted what way?

If the SU officers and councillors would just do something - anything the voter turnout would be much higher.

11/21/2007 7:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the Gown would stop obsessing with the SU and SRC then maybe we could discuss some more relevant issues."

Like the latest storylines in Neighbours?

11/21/2007 3:31 pm  
Anonymous yer man said...

What made the DUA perform their dramatic u-turn in the vote on Fianna Fail's recognition at Council on Monday night?

Bower knew.

11/28/2007 11:28 am  
Anonymous Big Bower Knew said...

Well done Bower - that's a job for you at Alliance HQ when you graduate.

1st students' Council - what next? A toilet cubical?

Don't get ideas about your station big fella.

11/28/2007 8:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

T.Hogg = bigot + v extremem but sexually attractive

11/29/2007 1:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yer Man,

Had the DUA previously declared that they would oppose Fianna Fail recognition?

11/30/2007 7:51 am  
Anonymous Quigmire said...

Jennifer Dunn - would flirt with anthing with a pulse

a man version of quigmire


11/30/2007 4:16 pm  
Anonymous Socialist Worker's Student Society said...

Is Michael Shilliday proud of the exemplary attendance record of his fellow UUP member and women's officer Jennifer Dunn?

11/30/2007 9:13 pm  
Anonymous pj said...

if you are going to bring the good name of Quagmire from family guy into this petty debate, at least go to the bother of spelling it right.


12/11/2007 1:18 pm  

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