Monday, April 5, 2010

15 years old and murdered.

Its hard to even contemplate whats happened in Tyrrelstown. 15 years old, bright future as a soccer player, a good kid trying to stay out of trouble and just trying to live life to the full.

And then its all taken away in a flash for no reason save his name was Toyosi Shitabbey and he was born in Nigeria.

A shameful day and our prayers and sympathies are with his family and friends.


  1. In January 2009 Mark Durkan MP said in his key-note address to the SDLP “Deep in me is a belief in this party and the people in it. We have it in us to recapture lost votes and recover lost ground”...then collapse. Mark Durkan had his head in the clouds. He was speaking to a party on the road to collapse with no political direction. What kind of a leader steps down at a cross-roads for its party when it is slowly splintering? A weak one. A strong leader would have taken the party beyond the cross-roads then allowed them to build their own future with continued support.

    Was he pushed? “If it was a matter of being forced out I offered my resignation a couple of years ago and it was refused, declined,” he said. This doesn’t seem to me as someone who has a “deep belief in this party and the people in it”. The SDLP are finished as a political party. Is there only viable option a merger with Fianna Fail and becoming an all-island party and lose their own identity? This would be an obvious desperate attempt to try and claw back some credibility with Nationalist voters on the question of a united Ireland. and in truth, would Fianna Fail want them?, other than to use them as a stepping stone into all Ireland politics, personally I can’t see any benefits in adopting that” lame-duck”.

    MLA Margaret Ritchie is in the frame as one of the fore runners for the role of leader of the SDLP, which in turn suggests a lack of confidence in her ability to succeed Eddie McGrady as south Down’s next MP, yet more signs of a party in disarray?..

    Mark Durkan tells us that one of the reasons he is leaving his post as party leader is because he is unable to fulfil a “dual role as Assembly Member and MP”. This view is contradicted by his party colleague, Allister McDonald, the south Belfast MP, who believes the opposite and that he indeed can carry out both roles. Again, opposing voices in an ever dividing camp.

    So where does this leave Mark Durkan? Durkan is content to step back from leadership and try to get re-elected to Westminster so he can sit and take a salary for back slapping and tooth-less deals, and ultimately follow in the footsteps of other isolated SDLP members such as Gerry Fitt. I wonder how long he can get away with it before declaring himself an independent in Westminster? Or becoming a life-peer? Baron Durkan maybe?

    When the date for the Westminster election is set in 2010 the SDLP may have a new leader but with the same problems. The main one being the rise of Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein are the only party that continually grow electorally and will continue to dwarf the SDLP. With Sinn Feins Martina Anderson continuing her ongoing hard work with her party activists SF have left the SDLP at their heels and this gap will grow and will inevitably lead to the election of Martina Anderson as MP for Foyle. The only choice in my opinion, as her and her party’s hard work ethic, at doors in Derry on a nightly basis with updates of campaign news and views, while others you only see when they want something from you, and not when you want something from them.

    Some Durkan supporters say he has a good chance of being re-elected for Foyle next year, but he is not a certainty. As we all know Foyle was a safe SDLP seat under John Hume, but since Hume left, the SDLP position has weakened. In the 2005 Westminster election the gap between the SDLP and Sinn Féin halved, and it is likely that Durkan got some strategic votes from unionists.

    Mark Durkan knows the writing is on the wall for the SDLP and would be more than content to sit in Westminster and fiddle as the SDLP burns.

    Personally, I look forward to the election of Martina Anderson as Foyles first republican MP and the continued rise of Sinn Fein.

  2. "Thats the working class for you" is how one colleague described this. Says a lot about the current nature of the party in Dublin.

  3. Activist you cannot make a claim like that without backing it up