Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley
The stick with which hardcore Sinn Féin members used to beat their representative in Galway West, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, with, was that he wasn’t a true Shinner.
It didn’t matter that he could speak well, stood up for the underdog, had decent Lefty credentials and was a hardworking constituency man, who was part of the ‘new look’ Mary Lou brigade.
What mattered was Trevor had roots in the Labour Party, something that didn’t sit well with the stauncher Republicans.
There wasn’t a whiff of sulphur off Trevor and that, in the diehards’ eyes, wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
Some of the Shinners in Galway West saw a Red Rose every time they looked at Trevor; he could never live up to their expectations because he would always be Labour – and by extension, establishment – to them. This, of course, isn’t new.
What’s interesting, though, is that the machine behind his replacement as the Sinn Féin General Election candidate in Galway West, Mairéad Farrell – whose Republican credentials are impeccable – stands accused of poaching Labour Party canvassers.
Little birdies in both Labour and Sinn Féin have told us that the Sinn Féin team around Mairéad has been busy in recent weeks trying to poach members of Labour.
Though they didn’t like Trevor’s Labour roots, Sinn Féin beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to coaxing a few more bodies to go knocking on doors and dropping leaflets through letterboxes around the city.
We hear Labourites in Westside were, ahem, love-bombed by the Shinners in recent weeks but resisted their, am, their, ahem, charm.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.