Friday, September 4, 2009

The resignation of Domhnall Ó Cobhthaigh

The decision of Domhnall to resign his seat as a Sinn Féin councillor and quit the party to join the Socialist Party must be seen as a massive wake up call for Sinn Féin as a whole and the left of the party in particular.

For me it is no massive shock when somebody leaves the party because they disagree with a party's direction or wish to pursue other interests etc. These things happen in politics and are nothing new. However, when somebody of the calibre of Domhanll leaves, does so with such dignity and chooses to join the Socialist Party then those of us who consider ourselves left wing need to take a long look at why he has done this.

With regard to the above press release I would point out that I have on this site expressed my own concerns regarding the nature of the Stormont assembly and the contradictions I see in us operating in a compulsory coalition with right wing parties. Domhnall echoes these concerns and asks how can this set up work in the interests of working class unity and pushing left wing policies.

He also points to the need to fight back against the cuts in public expenditure which are inevitably coming. At present we in the 26 are heavily involved in fighting the cuts agenda and I personally am not prepared to allow the party to fight cuts in the South, whilst imposing them in the North.

He goes on to say,
"I am convinced that change can only come about if working, unemployed and young people themselves organise to challenge the status quo. We have seen the power of effective local campaigns in fighting against health cutbacks and against the imposition of water charges. ..... Working people must organise themselves against cuts and to defend jobs."

These are statements I fully support and all this leaves me and others on the left asking why then did Domhnall leave the party and why should I choose to stay?

For me Domhanll has shown himself to be an honourable and honest man. He has not like others simply taken his Council seat with him despite it having been won under a Sinn Féin banner. He has moved to the Socialist Party, but he accepts the electorate voted Sinn Féin and he has acted accordingly.

He has also not spoken of his ex colleages in a completely negative manner, but rather stuck to the issues as he sees them and put forward his case for moving to the Socialist Party.

So why should I and others stay in the party? I'll give some of my reasons;

1) I have met many many brilliant activists within the party and I refuse to believe they will allow Sinn Féin to go in the direction Domhnall seems to feel the party will inevitably go

2) I beleive that the current debate within the party in one which the left will win and the party will recommit itself to socialist principles and policies.

3) I believe the current Stomont set up will be temporary and Sinn Féin will ensure the current compulsory coalition system is ended and as a result real cross community politics will be in a stronger position to develop.

4) Sinn Fein has a potential unmatched by any other party in Ireland. It has a history of struggle which makes it more prepared than others for the struggles ahead. It has a 32 county structure unmatched by any other party, and if we truely commit to demanding real change then I feel we are in a better positon than anybody to ensure that that change comes about.

These are some of the reasons I beleive Domhnall was wrong to leave the party, however i am aware that the concerns he has are real and I am aware that his analysis may prove to be correct if the left of the party does not organise and put forward coherent positions. The next two to three years will see if I am correct in my hopes for the party.


  1. In a way, despite Domhnall resigning his seat as well as from SF, this is perhaps the most damaging resignation from the party so far. He can't be accused of putting himself before the party by keeping the seat and he certainly isn't going to the SP because it well help his electoral career.

    What he says in his resignation rings very much true. SF policy in the executive simply isn't compatible with radical socialist instincts. This causes real problems for those elements of the party who want to advance working class socialist politics.

  2. I am sad to see Cllr O'Cobhtaigh leave the party, although I understand his reasons for doing so and like many Leftists in the party, have considered moving to the Socialist Party at times.

    Currently, the party is at opposite positions in the North and South. As you mention, we are campaigning against cuts down here while we are unfortunately part of cuts in the North. This position is not sustainable.

    Since the party's recent think-in, I think it seems to be moving more towards its working class, community-based roots and I am currently sitting still to see how it progresses.

    The four reasons you list above are what hold me in the party, by a shoestring sometimes, but they keep me hanging it. But until issues with the reactionary nature of the current Assembly in the North is dealt with, the party is still going to be in difficulty.

  3. Starry Plough,

    I think that I have been one of the most consistent critics of the Socialist Party on this website and I believe rightfully so. But i am also in agreement that supporters and members of Sinn Fein do need to be aware that this party like all others things may stand still or may slow down in its pursuits of its aims just from fatigue. Thats no criticism but just something true of all parties or movements. What I have always admired about the Republican movement is the strength of character and individual effort that members have shown in pursuing the common goals of Republicanism.

    Ultimately as republicans we all share the same desire to see a radically different Ireland to the one we now live in. There is much talk about the split between the nationalist side and the socialist side.

    I would probably see myself as being in the nationalist wing if there were such a thing but when I think of what that means - being a nationalist - I find that it can only mean that I demand the fair and equal treatment of my fellow Irish man and woman which leads me to argue for the fair and equal treatment of others be extension. I find that my nationalism leads me to my socialism. I dont see the two as incompatible. I can be proud of my Irish identity and be a socialist. I see no conflict there.

    On your 4 points I agree, especially with 3 & 4. SF is in the position to uniquely change Ireland.

    On Domhnall I must say the first I learned of him was when profiled his website. I read it and from his background it was clear that he was a very capable man and an asset to the party. Its a pity that he has left.

    SP I agree strongly when you say: I am aware that his analysis may prove to be correct if the left of the party does not organise and put forward coherent positions.

    I believe that many people, supporters such as my self, who believe in a radical social vision and who want to live in an Ireland thats radically diferent- not only gaelic but equal, not only equal but gaelic - are alienated by the arguments of groups like the Socialist party.

    Alienated not by the radical nature of the arguments but by the weakness of their arguments. Yet because of those weak arguments people are forced to the center or the right point of view. I frankly admit to having strong feelings about the Socialist party because of their odd views on national identity but also because of their sketchy arguments on how to deliver change.
    I, reasonably, expect to see party positions backed up by research and demonstrating some detailed facts about a position. I am surely typical of many Irish people, searching for a party that can deliver radical change but doing so in a competent and realistic fashion. For me there is no other party that promises the Ireland i want except SF.

    The left will remain the heart of SF because otherwise we will no longer even be republican. If there is a struggle there to be won for SF then its the lefts to win but the left wing of Sinn Fein can only do that by being more professional then the Socialist party and more demanding than the Socialist party. When the Socialist party tells people that the economy can be rejuvenated by building schools, hospitals etc but not saying how many schools or hospitals then we, as socialists, should be embarrassed that they would pull such a detail-less stunt.

    If we as socialists can stand toe to toe with any right winger and prove the economics of fairness and decency are better than their thatcherism we will win and voters who demand credible positions will back us.

    If we cant prove our points using facts and numbers and proper arguments then people will vote FG or FF because they have no choice.

    I am conscious that I probably do not appear as a Socialist in many of my posts. Yet I have only ever demanded that socialists argue with the same relentless weight of facts and numbers as those on the right and in that vein I have strongly opposed parties like the SP who I feel fail to prove their point at all.


  4. This guy had no right to be in the party in the first place. He is just a middle class economist and has now left to join a party that hated everything the IRA ever did.

    For fucks sake the Socialist Party doesn't even believe in Irish Unity, but a union of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

    Where were the socialist party when the hunger strikers gave their lives? They were condemming us as sectarian!

    What is their attitude to Irish culture? Where is their support for the Irish Language?

    To talk of this guy as principled is a joke, and a bad one at that.

    The main thing the party needs to sort out is who we are picking to run as councillors.

  5. Anonymous (10.09AM) It's people like you that have our party in the crisis it is.
    Just how exactly are we going to win over a section of Protestants in the North for unity if we continue to stuff our view of history down their throats! As Mao said, unite all who can be united. You're model of party organisation seems to be to purge everyone who is different!

  6. Well written SP, your four points are well made but I believe that the future for our party is in the middle ground and maybe marxists like Domhnall would only hold us back. I share his belief in the necessity of our party repositioning itself - the left-wing politics he espoused would force us to stay in a position that is unsustainable. You appear to believe that we can or will return to consistent socialist politics. I totally disagree.

    Starting with point four. Undoubtedly we have a sizeable all-Ireland structure. But then FF has a bigger party structure - does size matter irrespective of politics? The German SDP were the biggest and oldest socialist party in the world in 1900 yet suffered a complete ideological defeat by 1914 when they voted for war credits to fight WWI.

    The third point seems critical to your argument. The first two are insufficient. Let's deal with both in sequence. Many other movements have suffered ideological collapse despite having some of the very best activists. Believing willpower is sufficient to achieve any goal is the definition of voluntarism and alien to socialist strategy. History of the left is replete with examples of collapse - for instance, the PCI in post-WWII Italy (most of whose membership were veterans of the resistance movement). Or take the German SDP again: few socialists could compare to Kautsky yet within the space of a few brief years he was branded a renegade for his social-imperialism. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnicht were also members but failed to stop its rightward drift.

    As regard the second point, ideas do not shape history, it is rather social reality which determines which ideas predominate over time. Who can deny that our party has massive contradictions inherent within its approach to economics. It is the material conditions of struggle which will determine which becomes dominant. The situation in the north is not simply an aberration. Whenever the two meet, it is the cold right-wing reality that has won out against our socialist policies. Do you really think our Assembly team would, or even could, pursue more radical responses to the challenges they face? Not without further damaging our growing reliance on middle-class supporters.

    You think we will collapse power-sharing in the Executive - on this you would appear gravely mistaken. Undoubtedly, such a collapse would enable us to wear a left-face once again - but will it change anything? The whole peace strategy is predicated on engagement in institutions of governance north and south, and that means, inevitably, a significant move away from socialism. Some of the comments above illustrate that other members of the party view as unrealistic traditional socialist demands - what more evidence of the transition do you need?

    Finally, I don't think the institutions will fall. The establishment of inclusive power-sharing institutions on an all-Ireland scale has been our party's goal for the last ten years. Nothing will be spared to save them. Further, in order to defend the interests of nationalists, ministerial power is a must. (cont'd below) Z.

  7. Sorry Z I have not received the second part of your post yet.

  8. (Cont'd) The party has a primary strategic objective: a United Ireland; it needs to concentrate on that. Riding two horses is an impossibility.
    I reckon that if the party moves to the centre like the SNP in Scotland - we might achieve similar successes as they have on the national question on the basis of a common-sense agenda.
    If you study the SNP they are well capable of projecting themselves to the left of Labour – not a hard task admittedly - but maybe that’s what our party needs to be doing?
    I think that at this stage, retaining our current ‘paper’ commitments to nationalisation and commitments to spending which will only be ditched on entry into institutions of governance only detract from our ability to compete. The party needs to speak to the realities of advancing unification in the concrete circumstances we face.
    Domhnall has chosen political oblivion on the principle of consistant marxist politics and at some stage he may or may not emerge on that basis but that's not relevant to the immediate political tasks facing our organisation at this time.
    We need to clarify our agenda if we are ever to be listened to by a public who are conditioned to think in terms of market-led economics. We need to develop the concrete arguments around integration. Over time unity will appear more and more relevant as the small, agile 26C economy eventually pulls out of recession while the weak, peripheral and dependent economy of the 6Cs remains mired in stagnation.
    Left wing politics are not just congruent with a strategy predicated on institutional integration through executive authority both sides of the border.
    I realise that this is a minority opinion on this site but be sure that the most wise councils in our party see this problem clearly and it is on that basis that the party must and will proceed if it is to succeed. I've made my point and won't continue. Z.

  9. The argument for SF to move to the centre ground simply does not hold water, in the South the centre is already taken and overcrowded at that. Personally I doubt the SP would appeal to many republicans, although they may feel at home for a while, as its methodology is top down democratic centralism. Whilst SF does not operate under that burden, its comes pretty close at times, and this is something that still needs to be rectified. The war is long over, let a thousand flowers of debate bloom.

    In the long run, the only way SF's participation in the Stormont administration was going to work, was if it had brought real economic and social gains to the party's core support base. SF could have then gone before the Southern electorate, pointed to their success in the North and moved forward from there.

    In all probability this was the plan, but it seems to me to have failed dismally, and like the Greens in the South, who inexplicably willingly jumped into bed with the reactionary FF, SF is liable to pay the cost of this failure at the polls

    I am a 'little surprise' that the Left in SF have not made more of the failure of their Stormont 'ministers' to deliver to the support base. True some northern party members have been found births in this or that government financed schemes, nothing wrong with that, but over all, the return on participating in the Stormont administration for the majority of working class Northerners has been small change. [Not talking about the ending of the war here]

    There is a list of SF's manifesto promises which have not been met; by participating in the Stormont admin, SF is quiet rightly getting equal blame for the bad things Stormont does and in return has nothing to show to its own support base. The ending of selective education which should benefit both nationalist and unionist W/C communities is a car crash, policing and the Irish language have been parked.

    As an after thought, I would say this to those who suggest the party move to the centre, if SF lose it main support base, the men and women of no property from town and country, then there will be no party to move to the centre, right or left.

  10. good post mick. SF keeping left is as real politic as you get. it has to be that way.

    stormont will come down. its only a matter of when. the conservatives are going to win power in britian, the DUP top brass are opting for politics in westminster, the writings on the wall. if SF don't do it someone else will. not an argument for SF to do it but it does look like happening at some point.

    on the cllr leaving. if he wasn't comfortable then he did the right thing, giving the seat back also shows a sign of character so fair play to him. but people come and people go all the time. the world is on a crusp of history and so is ireland, things are changeing. SF in my view is the most organised and structured to deal with this from a working class point of view, we need to up our game but i think it can be done and is being done.

    to the anon who quoted mao. thats it nail on the head. adams and o brion have been on about this for the last two years. z's thinking is binned, no disrespect but adams wants a mass movement, after 2007 he accepted
    SF on its own won't be a mass movement so he's argueing for SF to be a part of a greater mass movement of the left. some people in dublin probsbly wished he came to that conclusion 3 years ago but any way, its the direction the parties moving in now.


  11. Z - I see where you are coming forom in your post and it is clear that view has support within the party, but my main question for you is how do you see Sinn Féin growing in the South? As Mick says the middle ground down here is packed, so what is it about the Sinn Féin agenda that is going ot convince people to switch from voting FF, FG, Green or labour?

  12. An interesting piece and I agree his resignation is the most damaging of all the ones of late. For me the left needs to really organise and the question is who will do this? Will it be you starry plough? If you organised a meeting I would attend.


  13. As above, would be most interested in such a meeting. Some sort of theorectical based journal may be a good starting point to? As ever, position is not antagonistic to SF, and some party members as ever need to realise this!

    ...That said, I really don't see how a Republican could join the SP. :/

  14. WN - No I would not organise such an event, but i would be interested in seeing one happen.

    Babeuf - I agree that any such event would not be antagonistic to SF and people need to realise that.
    What exactly do you mean by journal?

  15. He has left because of the contradiction between being part of the present stormont set up and claiming to be a socialist party, sin é. If we do not sort this out we will become a party with a very small active membership because who wants to go around knocking on doors, selling tickets, putting up posters and attending meetings if all you are going to get is what Stormont has given us.

  16. Sad and surprised to see Domhnall has left Sinn Féin. I wish him well in the Socialist Party, a party I wouldn't have seen as particularly sympathetic to republicanism but then no doubt he felt Sinn Féin wasn't that particularly sympathetic to socialism! I think Sinn Féin will miss his intellect and commitment. I think socialists in Sinn Féín will feel that bit more isolated and marginalised.
    Féilim Ó hAdhmaill

  17. Don't know the man, despite being a few miles from his constituency. Don't really care to know.

    What I'd like to know is if the party is in complete disarray on economic issues or have the SP and their offshoot PBP systemcatically decided that SF is the one soft target in Irish politics. It seems so on both accounts

    This guy who departed seems more progressive than leninist, so I just can't fathom his move to the SP. If he hasn't really found a proper ideological home, he's not going to find it in the SP.

    Anyhow, the north, being in a specific arrangement unlike any other in Europe, will have to be handled differently than the south. It's called real politik. If, as posters suggest, Stormont isn't viable for a means to progress a coherent economic agenda (one, I might add, that requires a dynamic and informed spokesperson) then the party should get ready to jettison the project on its own terms - not the conservatives's, unionists's, sdlp's or ff's.

    As for the struggle, it's main aim must be economic. Every day the right wing economic agenda is pursued through propoganda in the MSM. FF will be doing the broad left family a great service if it puts the last piece of the puzzle in place on the back of their property ponzi scheme which has ended so disasterously.

    The right wing agenda is aimed at consolidating asset prices in order to protect their investments, non-productive income streams and set themselves up as the new rentier class. The wage earners will be legislated into spending on taxes, privatised public services and insurance premiums in order to feed the rentier class in the unsatiatable thirst for more and more money and assets.

    There is, increasingly, no middle ground in Ireland. It shrinks day by day. Garret Fitzgerald and Duke have announced their support for cuts and increased taxes on wage earners (but not on the wealthy). They rely on the core FG ideology of free market capitalism - and they don't need votes. FG once in office, just like FF, will pursue the rentier agenda.

    I consider myself a progressive who believes in core socialist objectives. SF need not ape the SP's policies that have failed so miserably in the past. There is alot of good research being done and delivered on the web about progressive economics. I can't help feeling that the opportunity for SF to grasp a new economic doctrine is emerging that doesn't carry the baggage of failed socialist policies but is dynamic, practical and allows the ordinary citizen to become engaged in our own economic destiny. It's emerging. Can SF adapt?

    Uniting Ireland one vote at a time isn't sexy. Creating practical economic solutions that incoroprate both tangible and fair outcomes isn't sexy. Creative thinking isn't too sexy.

    SF was know for its grassroots work. For councilors who worked for the people. None of this was too sexy. This is the ethos we need to incorporate into the national scene. Forget about the grand gestures and policies. Identify some winnable economic objectives and make them happen.

    Fulfilling stated objectives is sexy - especially when the opposition seems to have all the ammunition at the outset - when the obstacles are huge and you are told by the establishment you must fail.

    SF, trying to emulate the existing political ethos and methodologies, will probably stagnate. A SF that doesn't give two damns about the way things work now but want to create new methods of doing the socio-eco-political work of the future isn't only viable but may be re-energised. SF is rightly seen as being an outsider. We should always retain this mentality - even should it go into govt.

    I think this site is a step in the right direction. The talent is there and only needs to decide amongst themselves to create agendas, policies and pressure to forward a leftist agenda that speaks to people's needs and is seen by wages earners as workable and embedding principles of fairness.

    sorry for wind bagged, long response. gl all.

  18. tgmac

    Not at all a windbag, there is some interesting stuff there that gives one pause for thought.

  19. i follow with great interest what happens in ireland, many good friends there,i hope sf gets to the point where u can be nationalist and socialist.
    it will be moments were thinghs will be hard, but will be sad to see sf becoming something like snp in scotland.
    keep up the good work for the socialist republic.freedom and socilisim for the basque country.

  20. Ignore the source just read this article and tell me what's happened to the movement?

    Northern Ireland friends of Israel
    By Eamonn McCann

    Many supporters of the Palestinian cause have been dismayed - and Sinn Feiners have been embarrassed - by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness meeting with the Israeli ambassador to the UK during his visit to Belfast in May.

    Sinn Fein puts itself forward as a supporter of Palestinian rights and an opponent of the State of Israel . This stance can’t be reconciled with the scenes at Stormont.

    Rest at

  21. From some of the comments posted here, we can see that there is still a reactionary Nationalist element in the party, which would happily co-operate with the total betrayal of the ideal of a socialist Republic. There's the door for ye!

    More and more, the prediction of outside observers is being proven true. That Sinn Fein will become the Fianna Fail of its generation, and it will be the third so-called Republican party to follow this route in the past century.

    I for one can see the reasoning in Cllr. O Cobhthaigh's move to the Socialist Party rather than continue following a Nothern leadership targeting Middle Class votes. Frank Ryan always noted the Northerners were weak in their committment to the Socialist aspect of the Struggle.

  22. I see Nouvelle Sectarianism, with a new dyanmic of ' ... them northerners aren't like us', is now rife among some so-called, self-styled Irish socialists. Very telling. There has always been a coterie of so-called socialists who've been exclusionary and determined to dictate their vision on others. (One vision fits all circumstances.) Sorry Brwyan, I lived in a exclusivist society. Didn't like it - ain't buying your neg vibes and vision.

  23. I'm an external observer with great sympathies for the left in SF. I thought Gerry saying that he didn't want to manage the economy but change it was significant. But the reaction to it illustrates the unavoidable bind the party is in.
    SF is trying to ride two horses with only one arse. In the north, they are part of the right-wing establishment, are busy closing schools (even Gaelscoileanna), agreeing a step-change in PFI (a recent report in University of Leeds puts the value of public services up for privatisation to £10 billion over the next ten years). That's a lot of services in a population of only 1.6 million. Oh yes, then there's the recent RPA bill SF agreed with the DUP which includes a specific provision to allow local authorities to privatise waste disposal and treatment (possibility of a bin tax) reflecting reality on the ground in some SF dominated councils with our support. The party also voted *for* incineration in Belfast City Council despite the position being against elsewhere.
    At the same time, leadership are content to allow lefties in the south to engage in protests and *talk* about socialism. But who really expects such politics to prevail over the realpolitick of compromise necessitated by a coalition for wider strategic objectives.
    Riding two horses at one time doesn't work. The leadership know that, it's a shame the left in the party don't.
    Adams' recent statement was designed to solidify support within the left-wing and he was pilloried by the right-wing media for it. Gerry's clever enough to have expected that so he must consider the short-term loss of credibility a price worth paying to maintain party cohesion and keep the left onside after the destabilising loss of O'Cobhthaigh.
    At the same time, the SWP report linked on the last discussion exposes the realities of SF in govt for anyone on the left - hob-nobbing with the IDF and a trade mission to Israel! That undoes all the good a radical statement like Adams made in one go. So we end up with a situation where the media slag us for being economic illiterates losing us mass support and the wider left continues to think we're sell-outs. The dangers of riding two horses...V

  24. Bryan,

    I think you are mistaken about there being a reactionary (?) element in the party.

    As Eoin o Broin argued so passionately in his book being a nationalist and a socialist is not exclusive but instead its the only way that Sinn Fein can avoid the failures of the past and deliver a credible alternative.

    Here is an i question though for you: Is the person who betrays a Socialist Republic the person who turns their back on it or the person who consistently fails to deliver and never adapts to circumstances so as to eventually deliver it.

    At the end of the day they are both the same arent they.

    Also agree with TmacGs comments about neg vibes. Suspect you are being naughty and trying to stir things.



  25. Starry Plough, by Journal, I mean like a publication where republican ideas can be debated, something many parties have or used to have. There was one for SF in the early '90s, but it wasn't particularly good. Much like this blog is doing, but in a more organised format. It could perhaps be linked in with this blog.

  26. Tgmac - Exactly, there are too many socialists in SF, that are very anti-nationalist, that are uncomfortable with people from some Northern counties, especially Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh, whom the see as polluted with religious beliefs, Irish nationalism and generally being non-urban.

    Until the party starts to listen to its voters and supporters and take that into account, it will continue to be replaced. The days of socialist polices being lifted from past text books has to go, and it has to be replaced with what is good for the people of Ireland. There is a new generation of sticks in the party, lets not give them a platform to undermine the struggle for unity and an equality Ireland.


  27. Féilim Ó hAdhmaillSeptember 15, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    There is definitely a need for a publication, online or in print which promotes the idea of a 32 County Socialist republic but which is inclusive enough to by read an audience which stretches beyond Sinn Féin. Methinks such a publication would have to be independent of the party as I cannot see the party allowing open public debate on such matters under the name of the party. (I think they are wrong by the way but I think that's the reality)

  28. Babeuf: Starry Plough, by Journal, I mean like a publication where republican ideas can be debated, something many parties have or used to have. There was one for SF in the early '90s, but it wasn't particularly good.

    Funnily enough that journal was called An Camchéachta (The Starry Plough). Its biggest weakness was that it was very fuzzy on the politics it was trying to debate and disseminate though.

    A few years ago you had Eoin Ó Broin's Left Republican Review, published out of Belfast, but unfortunately that collapsed before it ever had a chance to develop into what I believe was intended for it.

    The only periodical offering a voice to socialist republican thinking at the minute would be Tommy McKearney's Fourthwrite magazine. Obviously this isn't a theoretical journal but it does occassionally tend to have a good analytical piece.

    There's Red Banner as well but republicanism can be fairly muted in that publication.

    I could be wrong but I think the Socialist Party is the only group in Ireland with its own theoretical journal (Socialist Review). It does generally tend to be the preserve of parties that have enough international backing to cover the cost of such publications.

  29. Domhnall writes further on what his motivation was:


  30. I just hope that Domhall doesn't have to become Daniel to not alienate protestant workers. Yep its true. The Militant tendancy have a very poor stand on the national question as they refer to it.

  31. Just found out about this resignation. Good news in my opinion. Domhnall is a pompous asshole. At least we won't have to put up with the sight of him swanning about the Ard Fheis again this year, as if he mattered.