Sunday, January 10, 2010

Resignation of Killian Forde regrettable

I am both sad and angry to hear of the resignation from Sinn Féin by Cllr Killian Forde. Sad in that it is a loss to the party and angry in that it seems he will not resign his seat and return it to the party. The latter is important to me as someone who signed a pledge in the presence of my party colleagues stating that if I resigned I would return the seat to the party. I took the pledge in the full knowledge that I was standing for a political party and not as an independent. I was campaigning with materials, posters and leaflets paid for with party funds raised by the hard work of local party activists. And it was those activists who gave up their free time to canvass and help get me elected. The same is true for Killian. The honourable thing to do is to resign your seat and hand it over to a replacement of the party’s choosing.

Killian cited organisational and policy deficits within the party as reasons for resigning. I think most political parties and indeed voluntary organisations are experiencing organisational problems. In some respects it is a sign of the times. We have to continue to give leadership and encourage people to get involved. Resigning will not solve that particular problem.

The issue of there being a policy deficit puzzles me. A lot of good work has been done in recent times to present credible, workable and practical economic, fiscal and social policies. Our job creation document ‘Getting Ireland back to work’ is full of innovative proposals aimed at stimulating economic growth. The 2009 Pre-Budget Submission was the best of any political party advocating for an economic stimulus plan, a household stimulus package for struggling families and addressing the deficit. It gave real leadership.

There is no point pretending that the party does not have any problems. We do. We are too small. We need to grow. A small party will always struggle to get its message across particularly through a hostile mainstream media. And yes we need a more southern leadership. But this will only happen if we get more people in the South elected to the Dáil. Again resigning will not achieve this. Nor will joining a political party ready to hitch itself to Fine Gael.


  1. You are right but, I hate to see him go. Did you see his letter on facebook - SF keep Left?

  2. Obviously Killian doesn't agree with you David. And as to giving the seat back - I have some experience of this (ha). At the end of the day, it is Killian who got elected and got himself elected. No party can 'get you elected'. Why should he hand the seat back to the party to put an unelected representative in there. I understand your annoyance - every party says exactly the same thing when one of their own leaves. I think the bigger picture though is that Sinn Fein is in something of a slow burning crisis. Keep up the blogging! Mary

  3. Hi Mary,

    I hardly expected Killian to agree with me. What is interesting though is that not one memeber of the party in his area went with him. As regards the non return of the seat to the party - we will have to agree to disagree. I actually said that the party helps get you elected. When you put yourself forward as a party candidate you get a combination of a party vote and a personal vote. Although this may vary depending on the party, you get to avail of party resources both human and financial.

    As I said earlier there is no point in pretending that the party does not have any problems, we do. It then depends on whether you are truly committed to the party and its ideals or not. In Killian's case he was not. In my case I am.

    It's also interesting to note that Killian was very strident in his criticism of Labour and up to recently clashed many times with their representatives on a whole range of issues. This makes his defection more about opportunism and less about problems within Sinn Féin.