Sinn Féin IRA’s Golden Boy

We are now a week away from Westminster elections (December 12th). John Finucane is standing for Sinn Féin in Belfast North but this banner is at the top of the Shankill, intended to stir up animosity towards Sinn Féin, and support for DUP candidates, in all constituencies.

The same banner was hung in Tigers’ Bay, York Street, Antrim, and Ballymena, though the Tigers’ Bay one was removed because it was on council property (News Letter).

The banner presents a gallery of Finucane’s relatives John Snr, Dermot, Seamus, and Pat: “The real Finucane family  – human rights abusers – steeped in the blood of our innocents.” The (former) IRA involvement of the three uncles is well documented. Controversially, Sean O’Callaghan (in the Daily Telegraph) alleged that father Pat Finucane was in the IRA, contrary to the findings of the de Silva report into collusion: “Pat Finucane was first and foremost an IRA volunteer, and he exploited his position [as a solicitor with access to prisoners] ruthlessly to wage his war on the state.” The source of the claim that Finucane is the chosen candidate of the PIRA Army Council is unknown. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald called the banners “dangerous” (RN). The Belfast Telegraph reported that the Shankill banner was ordered by an alleged planner of Pat Finucane’s assassination, Jim Spence of the UDA (BelTel).

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What Does Brexit Mean?

Brexit means … borders, job losses, medicine shortages, and more. It takes all of the colours of the rainbow to set what Sinn Féin believes its consequences would be. The Sinn Féin candidate in Belfast North is John Finucane, in a close contest with the DUP’s Nigel Dodds: see The Anti-Brexit Candidate.
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The Anti-Brexit Candidate

“The only anti-Brexit candidate who can win!” After the withdrawal of the UUP and SDLP candidates, the contest in Belfast North is essentially between Sinn Féin’s John Finucane and the DUP’s Nigel Dodds. In an attempt to attract voters from the absent parties, Finucane’s campaign hoardings have eschewed the traditional green of Sinn Féin in favour of blue, a colour normally associated with unionism (and conservativism in Britain). 
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Steeped In Blood

The Westminster election called by Boris Johnson and the Conservatives for December 12th has become a referendum on Brexit, with a pro-Remain pact between the Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Plaid Cymru in 60 British constituencies (BBC). In Northern Ireland, manoeuvring got under way with UDA threats against any UUP candidate who might stand in Belfast North (News Letter). The UUP, which had previously committed itself to stand in all 18 NI constituencies, withdrew (BBC), as did the SDLP (BelTel), leaving the contest essentially between the (pro-Brexit) DUP’s Nigel Dodds and (anti-Brexit) Sinn Féin’s John Finucane (shown second from left). Finucane is current Belfast Mayor but is presented here as part of a “republican family”: he is son of murdered lawyer Pat Finucane (fourth from left) and Shankill bomber Sean Kelly (WP) was seen canvassing for him. The vote in North Belfast is expected to be close. The current Brexit proposal involves customs checks in the Irish Sea (BBC), but the DUP will be hoping for No-Deal or the end to the NI backstop.

For analysis of North Belfast and all of the NI seats, see Bangor Dub.

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Reject Brexit

Sinn Féin is using the threat of a “hard border, job losses, food shortages” due to Brexit to encourage people to vote (at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote). The next Assembly elections are scheduled for 2022; a Westminster vote might come somewhat sooner.

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Still The People Spoke

The first Dáil Éireann met in 1919 in the wake of a Sinn Féin sweep of the elections of 1918. Current leader Mary Lou McDonald addressed her deputies at a centenary commemoration, recounting the rise of the party: “They banished us, imprisoned us and bereaved us. But still the people spoke.” The mural above presents a montage of historical images, from the women of Wicklow (Barton) and Dublin (Mulcahy) being urged to exercise their new right to vote (also Arthur Griffith in East Cavan), to Bobby Sands and Owen Carron, to Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. (Cormac’s Fight Back was turned into a mural on the Springfield Road.)
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Vote All Unionist

Polls close tonight at 10 pm in voting for the 11 local councils. According to this poster, Sinn Féin are “led by murderers” and are attempting to ‘rewrite history’, a case in point being North Belfast councillor JJ Magee’s (tw) refusal to call PIRA murders “criminal” – in the background is an image of the bombing of Frizzell’s fish shop on the Shankill Road, in which nine people died, plus one of the bombers. Register now to “take back city hall”!
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Victory To Hamas

… and “FUCK Sinn Fein [sic]” in Herbert St, Derry.
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The Fight For Rights

It’s still anybody’s guess as to how Brexit will happen in March, 2019. This week, the ball is in the court of the hard-Brexiteers as they decide whether or not to challenge Theresa May’s leadership of the Conservative Party. Political parties in Northern Ireland claim to be “fighting” for their side – such as this Sinn Féin board on Falls Road – but in practice this means only looking on with fascination and anxiety. “The fight for rights continues – 1968-2018. Don’t let the DUP/Tories take away your rights through Brexit.”
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Mar Uachtarán

Voters in the Irish Republic go to the polls today (October 26th, 2018) to elect a president. Northerners cannot vote, though a referendum to allow residents of Northern Ireland to vote in presidential elections is expected in 2019 (BelTel). Nonetheless, these posters for Sinn Féin candidate Liadh Ní Riada are at the Glen Road/Falls Road roundabout in west Belfast.
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