Friday, May 15, 2009

Proud to be a Shinner

Proud to be a Shinner

It is very easy on a blog like this to look only at things in a negative way. However, this is not what this site is meant to be about. For me anyway, this blog is meant to look at things within the party, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today I’ll look at the good.

I would just like to say that at this time I am very proud to be a shinner and very hopeful for the future of our party. Why you may ask?

Well, to me one of the main strengths of any party is its people and the attitude of the party towards them.

Three reasons I have at this moment to be proud of my connection with SF are the characteristics I see displayed in three different people within the party.

Firstly, I am involved in the election campaign in my area and I have got to know our local candidate very well. In all honestly I could not wish to meet a better man. He works in the care sector, is a family man and genuinely cares for this country and its people. He puts other people first and is in no way involved in an ego trip and I cannot speak highly enough of his wife who supports him in an inspirational manner.

I won’t mention his name because this is not meant to be a “vote for x” exercise, but rather a genuine assessment of a man, his character and the quality of the Sinn Féin candidate in my area. If the party is attracting and selecting people such as him then they are doing something right.

Secondly, I read recently on the Ogra webpage about Ógra Shinn Féin activist Gary McClean who recently spent 3 months as a volunteer worker in Autonomous Rebel Zapatista Territory (Chiapas, Mexico).

For me it is great to see that we have motivated young people involved in Sinn Féin who care enough about world issues to give up their time to work with, and learn from, liberation struggles from other parts of the world.

From reading his article it is clear that he was inspired by what he saw and wishes us to learn from his experience as well.

He wrote
“A movement such as ours has much to learn from the Zapatistas and should be doing everything it can to be a part of this network of international solidarity. We must support the Zapatistas, their cause and their demands, since this also is our cause and these are our demands…”

Once again this says to me Sinn Féin are doing something right in attracting committed young people such as Gary McClean.

Thirdly, I wish to comment on our Dublin South Central election candidate, Shaun Tracey.

I watched him on the Vincent Brown show on TV3 and I was worried about what would happen given that he was up against Lee, the FG candidate with years of Media experience, and White the labour candidate who is a trained barrister.

However, I needn’t to have worried. He handled himself really well and it was great to see that SF had not parachuted in some degree educated, media friendly candidate. What the party did was choose a young vibrant local working class man who is a plumber by trade and a genuine Sinn Fein member who is committed to bringing real improvements to the lives of Dublin people.

In my opinion we need more working class people in the Dáil and I hope it will not be too long before we see Shaun there.

All of these three people in their different roles in the party are an inspiration to me and as I said at the beginning make me proud to be a shinner.

Just hope now three feckers don’t turn up in SF and make me change my opinion!


  1. Excellent post. I too am proud to be a Shinner for the above reasons.

  2. Thanks anon. glad to see your experience of peopel within SF matches my own. makes me hopeful of the future.

  3. Good post, ut do you have the same level of trust in the leadership? Do you believe Mary Lou McDonald is a socialist? I think the left of the party has considerable work to do to gain real control of the party. However, i believe we can do it.

  4. Anonymous,

    For what its worth I do think she is a leftist.
    And for what its also worth I also have trust in the leadership. I think they are being pragmatic and realistic about building the party and pitching our policies.

  5. But Jer I believe if we are not a party of the left then we are nothing. I want to be part of a sccialist party with principles, not just a party aimed at building itself. Principles and policy must go togehter.

    Anon in relation to Mary Lou nbeing a socialist, well I don't know her well enough to say, but I would certainly place her on the left in terms of social issues

  6. yeah i agree that pragmatism without principle is to be nothing. however principles without pragmatism or at least flexibility and self-criticism is also pointless. This is the danger for the left. Bit of a debate on now discussing whether the left focussed too much on principle such that they became inflexible and dogmatic.
    Actually some reasonable points from many commentators. jer