16 2 mins 8 yrs

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Oh no! We have lost one of our wonderful MLA’s and I feel such a sense of loss.

“The SDLP South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt has announced that he is to quit politics with immediate effect. Mr McDevitt says he failed to declare more than £6,000 earned from a public relations company shortly after he was appointed as an MLA.

Poor Conall was almost in tears, his voice creaking, as he bravely stepped down over what he defines as this sole incidence of ..erm..forgetfulness over money. Well, that is not quite ALL he declared to tell us – is it?

He has come under significant public pressure after it emerged his wife, Joanne Murphy, a Queen’s University academic, (tick box) had received more than £30,000 over the last two years for work as a researcher assisting his role on the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Ms Murphy’s company JM Consulting was also paid more than £14,000 for research and secretarial work from Mr McDevitt’s expenses.

Oh my. What rotten luck for Conall. Of course there is an upside to all of this – it may give him more time to follow my tweets. Remember this?

TUV election candidate David Vance has become embroiled in a row over his strongly-worded support for the Israeli blockade of Gaza.  His comments on Twitter have been denounced by SDLP Assemblyman Conall McDevitt. The South Belfast MLA said the “no messing about” remark “can only be taken as incitement to even tougher military action than that which left nine people dead and 35 injured”.

And then there was this…

I am sure a quango awaits McDevitt with a nice juicy salary care of the UK taxpayer. He will be missed by those of us who enjoy comedy in politics. Tramp the dirt down, Conall?

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16 thoughts on “THE TROUBLE WITH CONALL..

  1. A loss to the SDLP as he was one of the few bright sparks they had left. I don’t see the need for two nationalist parties and maybe it’s time to open unity discussions.

  2. /I don’t see the need for two nationalist parties /

    Why, do you think there’s no difference between SDLP and SF policies on a range of issues?

  3. One of the odd things is that it really isn’t that much money. Surely he could have seen the issues and avoided either situation.

  4. Noel

    I don’t think the differences are any greater than the range of differences you would expect in a broadly based party. In fairness to the SDLP SF have moved onto their ground more than the other way around. I remember Mark Durkan calling SF an SDLP tribute band and saying to Gerry Adams that he’s been on more roads to Damascus than a Syrian taxi driver.

    But the reality now is that the SDLP is going nowhere and I don’t really see the point of it. Like the UUP if it was serious it would go into opposition. But it won’t because the people at the top want to hold on to the meger spoils of office rather than building for the future.

  5. //. I remember Mark Durkan calling SF an SDLP tribute band and saying to Gerry Adams that he’s been on more roads to Damascus than a Syrian taxi driver. //

    🙂 Good one.

    I don’t think it’s fair to the SDLP to say they’re holding onto office for what they can get out of it. The GFA, the whole peace process and the unique political arrangement that came from it, is the child of the SDLP more than any other party.

    It’s one thing to abandon ship, but quite another to abandon one you built yourself.
    And if the SDLP went, it would be leaving the reward of power to the two parties that almost scuppered the deal.

  6. The question is what happens to the junior parties in the long run when they are not even seen as an alternative vote because they are in the Executive. It’s slow steady decline and nobody seems willing to do anything about it.

    I think if SF or the DUP found themselves in that position they would take a long term strategic view of the problem and act on it.

  7. //what happens to the junior parties in the long run when they are not even seen as an alternative vote because they are in the Executive. It’s slow steady decline and nobody seems willing to do anything about it. //

    True. And interesting, if somewhat tragic.

  8. It has been obvious for several years that the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists should leave the NI Executive and go into opposition. That would be good for demovracy and potentially offer the voters a clear choice at the next Assembly elections, especially if they are joined by Alliance. As it stands, the three of them are merely giving a veneer of respectability to the Dup-Shinner coalition / carve-up.

  9. I think they lack the major player they had in Hume’s day and you need someone like that to help a party (especially in a small electorate) transition.

  10. Masons

    “It’s like losing Lionel Messi, ” said one senior SDLP source yesterday about Conail McDevitt! On that basis who could Hume be compared to?

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