106 1 min 9 yrs

It’s not that leopards can’t change their spots, some delight in them…

Sinn Fein has defended a decision to appoint the third ex-prisoner in a row to a ministerial job which includes responsibility for victims of the Troubles. West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann reacted to unionist criticism by pledging to work for all victims and accusing her chief critic of scoring political points. She was unveiled as her party’s new junior minister at Stormont and succeeds Sinn Fein colleagues and former IRA prisoners Martina Anderson and Gerry Kelly. Ms McCann, who was sentenced to 20 years in the early 1980s for the attempted murder of an RUC officer, said she brought a wide range of political experience to the ministerial role.

I’ll say.  Another IRA convicted terrorist in the limelight.

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106 thoughts on “THREE IN A ROW…

  1. Unionists will get the veto on Nationalist appointments when Nationalists get the veto on Unionists ones.

    Also if people don’t want former prisoners to hold public office then they shouldn’t vote for them.

  2. Those damm McCanns always the most extreme of Irish Republicans ….


  3. Probably not Phantom but there isn’t any bar on former prisoners getting the job.

  4. There was an agreement a few years ago David that was overwhelmingly endorsed by the public to move past that. Part of that was agreeing to allow former combatants to have a say in Government if they receive enough support from the public.

  5. Seamus – some legal loopholes doesn’t mean it’s not a moral outrage.

  6. It isn’t a legal loophole Bernard. People knew what they were getting into in the late 90s when they endorsed the Agreement

    Iluvni, the legal framework behind the current governance of Northern Ireland (and it has to be said the creation of this particular office) was created by the Good Friday Agreement.

  7. This is the kind of appointment that is not only unnecessary, it is counterproductive. Lets face it, jail time on the resume is far more important to SF than competence.

  8. How do you know she isn’t the most competent Mahons? If you don’t can you name who they should have appointed instead? What Sinn Féin MLA is more competent?

  9. Is ” sticking the finger in the Prods’ eyes ‘” the new Sinn Fein platform?

    Will such appointments serve to furthet divide an already divided citizenry?

  10. Unionists appointed a chairman of the Health Committee who wanted to cure homosexuality, had a Minister for Sport who didn’t know who the champions of the most popular sport in Northern Ireland was and appointed a Minister for Culture (who’s portfolio includes Museums) who believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

    So Unionists really shouldn’t lecture on inappropriate appointments. Ex-Prisoners are there, they are democratically elected. If people don’t want them holding public office then they shouldn’t vote for them. You can’t elect them and then expect them to be put in a backroom somewhere.

  11. //a Minister for Culture (who’s portfolio includes Museums) who believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old.//

    LOL, I love it!

  12. Jennifer McCann spent a considerable time in prison for her actions. Has she not paid her debt to society?

    Contrast this with the absolute silence from some regarding British soldiers being convicted of murder, spending a fraction of their sentence in prison and, upon release, being re-instated back into the British Army, (sometimes with promotion), and put in charge of a high velocity weapon.

  13. Not to mention those soldiers who were spared prison with a series of cover-ups that would make the Catholic Church the high-point of openness and transparency.

  14. Seamus – shouldn’t the question be what SF MLA is competent at all? As for McCann her thin resume reveals that her main entry is her prison sentence and marriage to another IRA prisoner. Other than that some vague lobbying for selective victims groups. Does she have any education, any vocation? Has she ever worked a regular job? I couldn’t find too much.

    She’s elected, and I am not calling for her ouster from her elected role. But like any other politician being elected doesn’t absolve her from anything.

  15. Paul – If any British soldier convicted of murder was later in life appointed to a minister’s position I will happily denounce the appointment.

  16. Mahons,

    She worked in Sinn Féin’s Prisoners’s department, helping former prisoners get back on their feet. She was also one of the developers of Sinn Féin’s women’s and equality strategy, and a former spokesman on for Sinn Féin on Community Development, Families and efforts to lower poverty.

    She is a former chairman of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade & Investment and a former member of the Committee for Finance & Personnel.

  17. Seamus – In other words virtually no experience outside of the SF gravy train. Securing appointments to various committees based on her IRA activities.

  18. Is there a politician in most walks of modern life who has experience outside of their party? David Cameron? Barack Obama?

  19. Obama is a man of minimal accomplishments and an empty CV.

    The point is readily conceded and the remedy is at hand.

  20. The fact is that most politicians are career politicians who have spent their entire working lives or the overwhelming majority of it working for their party.

  21. Paul – If any British soldier convicted of murder was later in life appointed to a minister’s position I will happily denounce the appointment

    Interesting that you’ll happily denounce that Mahons but you’ve remained silent on a convicted murderer being accepted back into a government job and, more importantly, being given an automatic assault rifle.

  22. I can actually think of three and arguably four instances.

    Google Ian Thain and Thomas ‘Kidso’ Reilly

  23. Seamus – Both Obama and Cameron are highly educated and each has experience aside from party membership.

  24. And your saying Jennifer McCann can’t spell or count? How do you know she isn’t highly educated? She spent 10 1/2 years in prison. Most IRA volunteers who did that generally came out the other end with a degree.

    And Cameron’s experience outside his party is limited and brief (a few years working for a minor media company).

  25. Paul – Thain became a government minister? It appears to me he was allowed to return to the Army after his conviction which I would not support. But was he appointed to a governmet post, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

  26. Interesting that you’ll happily denounce that Mahons but you’ve remained silent on a convicted murderer being accepted back into a government job and, more importantly, being given an automatic assault rifle

    Perhaps you didn’t read my 11.08 in full Mahons.

  27. Seamus – I would be underwhelmed by a correspondence course education. Lets not seriously contrast her with the leaders of the world.

    She was chosen for her IRA involvement. Please stop pretending otherwise.

  28. Obama’s work experience is as one on the fringes of govt largesse or in legislative jobs that he did not take seriously.

    He is not the devil that he GOP imagines him to be, but he strode into the White House holding a blank record of accomplishment.

  29. Paul – I read it – are you calling the army a government job akin to a government minister?

  30. Phantom – He had less experience than many, but he was a Senator, a state representative and a Harvard law Grad. The Obama experience debate is for another thread.

  31. “Contrast this with the absolute silence from some regarding British soldiers being convicted of murder, spending a fraction of their sentence in prison and, upon release, being re-instated back into the British Army ..”

    Sargeant Clegg’s conviction was quashed. At his re-trial he was cleared of murder. He’s not guilty of anything.

  32. She was actually probably chosen for electoral reasons, she’s the 5th MLA in West Belfast and they wanted to raise her profile.

    She was chosen also because she has experience in many areas that she was dealing with. OFMDFM deal with poverty issues (with which she has experience), victims issues (with which she has experience), the equality agenda (with which she has experience), community development strategy (with which she has experience).

    You are coming off unbelievably like Troll in this thread, spouting nonsense about an issue you know nothing about.

  33. What I’m saying is that they’re both public servants only Ministers generally aren’t given high velocity assault rifles after being released from prison.

  34. I din’t know Jennifer McCann’s qualifications / lack of qualifications. I presume neither do you Phantom.

  35. Pete, it wasn’t just Lee Clegg. Ian Thain was never dismissed from the Army, had his wages paid while in prison and was fully re-instated after serving 22 months of a life sentence. James Fisher and Mark Wright were released after 6 years under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and allowed to return to active duty.

  36. Lee Clegg was another who was released after serving a fraction of his sentence.

  37. Seamus –

    Nationalists are the last people entitled to whinge about anyone being released under the Good Friday Agreement.

  38. We aren’t Pete. We are simply pointing out that Unionists and the British don’t seem to mind their murderers been appointed to public jobs, including sensitive public jobs, despite criminal conviction.

    So why are they whinging over someone who didn’t even kill anyone?

  39. Paul

    I think she meets the ” put the stick in the Prods eye ” qualification very well.

  40. Neither Ian Thain nor Lee Clegg were released under the GFA but I assume that Seamus is commenting on Fisher & Wright’s reinstatent into the BA.

  41. I think she meets the ” put the stick in the Prods eye ” qualification very well

    He is more qualified than Mrs McCann. I give him that.


  42. She has experience dealing in many of the matters that her job deals with so she is qualified for it. Also the Unionists don’t get to veto Sinn Féin appointments, so it isn’t really a concern of Nationalists that Unionists don’t like it. Unionists, with some of their nonsense appointments, don’t get to lecture anyone on inappropriate appointments.

  43. Seamus –

    But you are, and you have no idea what “the British” think of anything.

    The simple fact is that nationalists want it both ways. They want their terrorists released, they vote them into government and excuse their appointments into office. At the same time they expect British sioldiers to spend life in prison and threaten violence whenever any are freed.

  44. No Nationalists don’t want it both ways. We want consistency.

    If it okay for British Soldiers to be reinstated after they have murdered people why is it not okay for a democratically elected representative who didn’t murder anyone to be appointed to a post that she has relevant experience in?

  45. Also, if the British didn’t think that why did they reinstate every single British soldier convicted of murder throughout the Troubles?

  46. Are SF appointees immunue from criticism? Must any criticism of them be tempered by criticism of unionists? If they want to be part of government for all then they should be judged like everyone else, praised when appropriate and damned from the rooftops when appropriate.

    But some SF are often as caught up in the past as the hard core unionists. Frankly, I am still amazed peace was achieved with the eternal complaints and counterclaims.

  47. Absolutely not Mahons, I’m the first to criticise SF when it’s warranted but it would be nice to give Jennifer McCann a crack at doing the job she’s been appointed to and criticise her on her merits.

    If however she’s being criticised purely because she’s an ex – prisoner, (who served her whole term in prison and should have therefore ‘paid he debt to society’), then it should be pointed out that there’s a precedent for this kind of thing.

    As for being “caught up in the past” surely citing Jennifer McCann’s history is bringing up the past?

  48. the usual apologists are out in ‘defence’ it is quite surreal.

    Hoe despicable they are…

    mass murderers still receiving support from the MAJORITY OF CATHOLICS.

    As Jimmy Young used to say, ‘DESPARTE’ (sic)

  49. Oh FFS, here we go, the Court Jester’s arrived. Say goodbye to sensible & civil debate folks.

  50. Terrible as we were all moving on with the peace process and the ira do this…

    We want to EMBRACE a peaceful future and why can’t the ira and the catholics move on?

    It is a shame…

    Most ordinary people want a peaceful future for our children and we have this… shameful

    Add to this, McGuinness as deputy first minister cannot meet our Majesty.

    I thought we were all moving on?

    Obviously not.


  51. Mahons, Sinn Féin are not stuck in the past. They are trying to move on. While some would like to forget that former prisoners exists they are there and they won’t be put in a back room. You already stated you don’t know much about Jennifer McCann (as you stated the only thing you know about her is that she is married and was involved in some victims groups). So why do you assume that she is only being appointed for one reason when you know nothing about her?

    Also on your point about her “lobbying for selective victims groups” can you point me to a victims group that isn’t selective?

  52. here we go, the court apologist for the ira is here with his chum paul…

    Never mind, we want to move on and leave behind these bigots…

    There is hope.

    Americans, please ignore the republican dinosaurs…the rest of us are MOVING ON and EMBRACING peace.

  53. Isn’t it sad that the ira commander McGuinness refuses to meet our Queen?

    As the rest of the island of Ireland moves on, we are all held back by bitter and bigoted ira personnel and their supporters.


    We just want to move on for our children and EMBRACE A SHARED FUTURE.

  54. Seamus – I only know what a limited internet search of her reveals, if you wish to advise me of what she brings to the table aside from her prominent IRA past I would be happy to consider it. Something tells me it ain’t much.

    Paul – I think the appointment itself is fair grounds for criticism.

    Logical – you realize that without your type the IRA would have petered out long before they did. Don’t you?

  55. I have already pointed out she has experience in many of the areas her post deals with. If you don’t think that is relevant then you’ll find nothing relevant.

    You don’t have to have a PPE from Oxford or a Harvard Law Degree to be good in government Mahons.

  56. Mahons, you mean ‘realise’ of course, but I will let it go… there is NO excuse for murder.

    I, (unlike others), stood in the cold light of day defending ALL citizens from so called ‘loyalists’ and the shameful ira/rabid catholic death squads et al.

    Don’t lower yourself to believe the nonsense that mass murder was ever justified, espcially as those who mock, or try to ( lol ) cannot come up with any evidence of discrimination against the ‘poor taigs’, and meanwhile in today’s terms, we have WRITTEN PROOF that Prods are discrimated against. Guess what? We do not go out and bomb people and excuse it …

    we are tryin to move on, but the majority of catholics keep voting for the ira…

    It is a SHAME.

  57. Paul – I think the appointment itself is fair grounds for criticism

    I disagree Mahons. As I said previously there is previous form on this so this appointment can’t be criticised without condemning the others. There has been a deafening silence regarding this.

    As for moving on, is bringing up Jennifer McCann’s past moving on?

    On a point of reference Mahons; I suspect when you speak of selective victims groups you are referring to Relatives For Justice. RFJ also work with the families of Andrew Robb , David McIlwaine and Raymond McCourt. These could hardly be called Republicans

  58. If we move on Paul, we DISCARD TERRORISTS.

    What reasonable person would disagree?

    We want to embrace a shared future, not one with the terrorists that blighted our upbringing.

    Let’s all move on together and you and your community can sideline the ira and we can EMBRACE the future, TOGETHER and smile in the sun.

    If not, WHY NOT?


  59. ach…it is sad indeed.

    Whilst the Unionist brethern have extended the hand of friendship, the ira place another member into a sensitive position.


    We are so disappointed.

    We as Unionists want to move on and EMBRACE A SHARED FUTURE with our neighbours, but with terrorists in charge of VICTIMS it is testing our patience, even though we are morally above the people responsible for the disappointing appointment.

  60. Seamus – I submit that Oxford or Harvard might make one less suitable, it depends on the person. And the office of a minor minister in NI doesn’t quite call for the same CV as the leader of the UK, US or Republic of Ireland. There are far more parochial factors at play in NI, given its population.

    Paul – Each appointment should be judged on its own.

    Logical – With your mindset, I am unsure that the people you were guarding were better off with you there.

  61. Mahons,

    your comments are an utter disgrace.

    As you hide behind the terrorist scum I stood against, I look down on you and rightly so; however, let me remind you, I stood against them all for ALL citizens.

    You, (and others like you) are cowards, but maybe some day you can help lick my boots…

    If I let you …

  62. I agree Mahons that the leader of the UK, US or Republic requires a greater CV. The point I was making was that you don’t have to have attended the Ivy League or Oxbridge to get a good education and many prisoners used the Open University to great effect. They are well educated people.

    And I also agree that each appointment should be judged on its own. It is just some people only like to judge when it is a Sinn Féin appointment.

    The appointments need to be judged when in full possession of the facts. You had made your mind up long before you knew her qualifications or any of her experiences. Jennifer McCann was chosen for two reasons. Firstly to shore up her position in West Belfast and secondly because she has relevant experience in many of her duties.

  63. Paul – Each appointment should be judged on its own

    Okay Mahons then let’s have your ‘judgement’ on the other cases mentioned.

  64. IRA scum being appointed and taking us backwards and the dinosaurs on here are NEVER going to MOVE ON.

    MOVE ON, leave the terrorists behind.

    CAN YOU?

    Unionists want to embrace the future for ALL our citizens, but IRA supporters are still stuck in the last century…

  65. MOVE ON . . . rem 1690

    Unionists want to embrace the future for ALL our citizens, but IRA supporters are still stuck in the last century…

    While the Orange Order, the largest unionist organisation in Ireland, are merely stuck in the seventeenth.


    Difficult for the OO to do when they’re still stuck in the 17th Century.

  67. ‘Our culture has to be celebrated too Paul’

    Are you an Orangeman now as well, LU? How do you find time in your busy schedule to come on here and entertain us?

    As for celebrating the Orange culture – it is celebrated, at great expense to the public purse, for at least a couple of months every year, culminating in the annual 12th parades and bonfires. Would you like it to be celebrates a bit more? 11 months out of every 12 maybe? More?

  68. No I am quite happy with the present arrangements, although I would appreciate it if nationalists could stop their intolerance and stop protesting and causing trouble.

    A SHARED future means exactly that.

  69. If you’re so happy with the present arrangements, then why are you constantly griping about it?

    ‘…I would appreciate it if nationalists could stop their intolerance and stop protesting and causing trouble.’

    Protesting and causing trouble where? At the parades? At the bonfires? I think you will find Nationalists a bit thin on the ground there. Some people tend to find it distasteful to watch flags and banners glorifying the murder of teenagers burning on a pile of pallets and car tyres.

  70. No gripes here semi, I was responding to your question, politely and succinctly.

    I wish nationalists would move on and accept there is another tradition in NI who should have their culture and identity not just tolerated, but EMBRACED.

    We all want to move on and EMBRACE a SHARED future, not the old sectarian past where everything is steeped in hatred and intolerance.

    Cast off your blinkers and enjoy the twelfth carnival, it is a great day out.

  71. ‘No gripes here semi, I was responding to your question, politely and succinctly.’

    If you’re being polite, then please have the courtesy to spell my name correctly.

    ‘Cast off your blinkers and enjoy the twelfth carnival, it is a great day out.’

    And where exactly might this ‘carnival’ be? I’m not wearing blinkers, LU, though I suspect someone here is.

    For your info, I have attended 11th night bonfires and 12th parades in the past, and whilst I found the parades to be, for the most part, just loud noisy affairs, I found the bonfires to be intimidating and extremely sectarian. I had to leave one in Bangor very quickly one time, when someone in the crowd I was with realised I was not ‘one of them’, and started to very loudly threaten me.

  72. Semi,

    will you be alright? That must have been terrible. I can buy you a wee teddy bear and you can give it hugs at night.

    What colour would you like?

  73. Yes, and I will pay the postage as well as a gesture of reaching out to you in our shared future together.

  74. I take it that politeness and tolerance are virtues you only expect others to display? Because you are neither.

  75. tch, I offer you a gift in kindness and all I get is ungrateful comments…

    Some people…

  76. Ok, I’ll break it down for you, in case you didn’t understand.

    You said you were ‘… responding to your question, politely and succinctly.’

    I pointed out that, if this was the case, to have the courtesy to spell my name correctly, rather than as some juvenile, playground joke. I then went on to explain that I had experience of the 11th and 12th bonfires and parades, and gave my opinion on both.

    You decided not to be polite, and posted again, spelling my name incorrectly again, and then belittled what I had written regarding my experiences.

    When I asked was this your being polite, you said yes, and continued with your poor attempt at being patronising.

    I then asked if tolerance and politeness were virtues you only expected in others, as you were neither, and you feigned annoyance at my apparent ungratefulness.

    And you consider ME to be the intolerant one?

  77. Semi, semi, semi…

    you just don’t get it, do you?

    You need to move on and EMBRACE the future.

    It is not good for you to get angry about it, things are happening and the rest of us are moving on.

  78. Seimi,

    He’s a troll who thinks he’s being a cunny funt. He has absolutely nothing to add to debates on this site and is simply trying to prevent civilised discussion.

  79. I know, Seamus. But he just isn’t funny. At all. He avoids every issue, and continues with his playground nonsense. And apparently, someone put him in charge of a gun…

  80. With neanderthals like him involved is it any surprise Seimi that the British Security Forces murdered 190 civilians? I mean any Republican is a target, any supporter of the GAA is a target, anyone who doesn’t embrace the Orange Order is a target.

  81. I just find it ironic in the extreme that someone like him attempts to lecture me on tolerance.

  82. Seamy, you and semi need to move on and embrace the shared future.

    It isn’t like it used to be, where we have to obey the ira or else get shot or blown up.

    Now, I have decided not to send the teddy bear to either of you, as you do not deserve my kindness.

    seamy, there are no targets we are all moving on, and you should realise this and embrace me and semi too, we can all walk off into the sunset together.

  83. Are you saying that you used to obey the IRA, LU? hardly proper behaviour for a member of Her Majesty’s armed forces, surely?

    (By the way, I know this is b*llocks, but I’m just answering like with like.)

  84. semi, no, I never did; I was making an example of wee seamy’s mindset and that of the majority of nationalists.

    also, if you know something is nonsense, then why post in an inane and futile manner?

    Surely even you can do better.

  85. “if you know something is nonsense, then why post in an inane and futile manner?”

    We’ve been asking ourselves that since you started posting here.

  86. Seems to be getting under your skin though, and others, so I must be doing something right wee seamy weamy.


    what would you like me to ‘clean’ you on today sunshine?

  87. The only thing you need to clean is your keyboard because with the amount of shite you have been typing its probably covered by now.

  88. oh dear, are you going to be abusive today again, because it is very disappointing when you resort to foul language to compensate for your inability to win any debate.

    don’t let yourself down.

  89. The only one stopping me from winning debates against you is your complete refusal to engage in one. You spout your rubbish, act like you are semi-retarded, try to crack jokes that aren’t funny and then fuck off again when someone asks you a tough question.

  90. see, you are letting yourself down again seamy.

    I keep on proving your nonsense for what it is, and then you lose your temper.

    You see, I can help educate, but you have to want it first.

  91. I haven’t lost my temper. You also haven’t proved anything. You still haven’t provided one shred of evidence for any of your assertions. You are nothing but a pathetic troll who sadly thinks he’s being funny.

  92. Oh dear.

    seamy, everyone on here can see your deficient behaviour and intellect.

    When you resort to insults and foul language, you lose any credibility.

    Now I am going out now for a while, but I will attempt to engage with you later when you calm down and stop stamping your feet.

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