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Fun and games amongst the SDLP over…yes, gay marriage!

There have been calls for the SDLP to clarify its position after a South Belfast MLA said the party was fully behind a change in the law to legalise same-sex marriage. But shy retiring media averse Conall McDevitt was accused of overstepping the mark during a debate this week.

During the Belfast Pride Talks Back event, Mr McDevitt said his party was “100%” behind moves to permit gay marriage — but went further and claimed two veteran councillors would be disciplined over their opposition to it. He was referring to former Belfast Lord Mayors Pat McCarthy and Pat Convery, who refused to take part in a vote on the issue at the City Hall last month. Mr McDevitt’s comments sparked outrage in the party.

As vice chair of the SDLP executive, Mr Convery is more senior in the party than Mr McDevitt. One veteran party source said gay marriage was causing division within the SDLP. “The issue of supporting gay marriage is not party policy,” he said. “It never went before the party conference and has never been discussed by the party executive. “Conall McDevitt was totally out of order saying that we are 100% behind this and he knows it.”

Yes, but Conal just lurves publicity and trailing his liberal instincts across the ever obliging media is an essential part of his role in local politics. I would have thought that the SDLP, and the other Parties here, have MANY other issues to concern themselves with – but Gay Marriage seems to be the only engagement that they fancy!

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5 thoughts on “CONAL THE CONTRARIAN…

  1. But shy retiring media averse Conall McDevitt
    Conal just lurves publicity

    Ahem, couldn’t the same charge be levelled against almost anyone who appears in the media to voice their opinions?

    McDevitt’s supposedly a bit of a PR guru so I’m surprised he made such a faux pas. Fair pleay to him though.

  2. To be fair they were speaking at a Gay Pride debate so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the issue happened to come up. The fact is, and that is why Conall McDevitt’s comments were surprising, is that for the most part there is an avoidance of the issue locally because it isn’t a decided issue and there will be problems for the likes of the SDLP and the Alliance Party (both of whom have elements of their party who are very liberal but also elements who are very religious and socially conservative).

  3. It could refer to anyone who appears on the media to give their opinions.

    Glass houses and all that . . .

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